Ford unveils cars, but no Canadian jobs at auto show

Ford Motor Co. debuted new vehicles at the North American International Auto Show this week, but more product doesn't translate into more work in Windsor.

Ford's president and CEO Alan Mulally talked about the expansion of several plants and the 2,200 jobs recently created in the U.S.

But Dianne Craig, the president of Ford Canada said shortly after Mulally spoke, "that won't impact Windsor."

Engines for the company's F-Series pickup trucks and muscle-car Mustangs are built at the Essex Engine Plant on Lauzon Parkway in Windsor.

And even though Ford unveiled the Atlas, a new concept pickup truck, it's not known where that vehicle's engine will be built.

Even still, Craig remains optimistic about Essex Engine Plant.

"Essex is one of the best success stories that we have because it was the only plant in North America that re-opened," she said. "At the time, we thought we'd have 400 Canadians working and today we have 800."

Although there are no new jobs or investments planned for the Windsor area, some insiders said there are reasons to be optimistic about what may be coming down the line.

"I've never been more positive about the five-year forecast for this industry than I've ever been and Ford's beautifully positioned to take advantage of that," said Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

DesRosiers has been studying the auto industry for 40 years.

Ford also believes their Canadian operations will be in a position to compete with locations in other countries.

"With the competitive labour agreement we were able to secure in the fall and the announcement of the Automotive Innovation Fund, those are two ingredients that will really help us be competitive in Canada from a manufacturing stand point," she said.

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