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Automotive industry in Canada

The automotive industry in Canada consists primarily of assembly plants of foreign automakers, most with headquarters in the United States or Japan, along with hundreds of manufacturers of automotive parts and systems.

Canada is currently the ninth-largest auto producer in the world, and fourth largest auto exporter by value, producing 2.4 million vehicles and exporting $48.8 billion worth of vehicles in 2016. Canada's highest rankings ever was second largest producer in the world between 1918 and 1923 and third after World War II.

The first large-scale production of automobiles in Canada took place in Walkerville, Ontario, near Windsor, in 1904. In the first year of operations, Gordon McGregor and Wallace Campbell, along with a handful of workmen produced 117 Ford Model Cs at the Walkerville Wagon Works factory.

Through marques such as Brooks, Redpath, Tudhope, McKay, Galt Gas-Electric, Gray-Dort, Brockville Atlas, Chatham, Anhunt, Russell (CCM), Hyslop and Ronald, and McLaughlin, Canada had many domestic auto brands. In 1918, McLaughlin was bought by an American firm, General Motors, and was re-branded General Motors of Canada. In the 1930s, Studebaker built its Rockne in Canada.

Driven by the demands of World War I, Canada's automotive industry had grown, by 1923, into the second-largest in the world, although it was still made up of relatively inefficient plants producing many models behind a high tariff wall. High consumer prices and production inefficiencies characterized the Canadian auto industry prior to the signing of the Canada–United States Automotive Products Agreement.

The 1964 Automotive Products Trade Agreement or “Auto Pact” represents the single most important factor in making the Canadian automotive industry what it is today. Key features of the Auto Pact were the 1:1 production-to-sales ratio and Canadian Value Added requirements. As of 2015 major car companies that operate are Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota.[1]

Information board in Windsor, Ontario. Windsor is known as the Automotive Capital of Canada. The establishment of the Ford Motor Company of Canada, in August 1904 by Gordon McGregor, ushered in the era of the automobile to the Canadian public. The first Ford automobiles sold throughout the British Empire were built here in Windsor. Others soon followed. General Motors of Canada built its first plant here in 1919. The Chrysler Corporation of Canada was established in 1925 by Walter P. Chrysler. Windsorites were quick to see this new industry's potential. In its first year of operation, Ford of Canada employed 17 people. By the beginning of this century, about one in five jobs in the City of Windsor were directly or indirectly dependent on the automotive sector - with almost 20,000 people employed by the "Big 3" alone.


Canadian Automakers:

Foreign automakers that have plants in Canada:


Foreign automakers that had plants in Canada:

Defunct Canadian Automakers & Brands:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sector, Government of Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Office of the Deputy Minister, Industry. "Vehicles made in Canada 2017". Retrieved 16 April 2018. 
  2. ^ "Assembly Plants In Canada—2015 - Canadian Automotive Industry". Retrieved 2016-01-30.