The highlight is a new $265-million battery enclosure plant in Brampton “to support the Ford F-150 Lightning and future OEM programs,” while five other facilities get expansions
Auto supplier giant Magna International is making a nearly half-a-billion dollar investment to EV-ready its Ontario footprint.
The Aurora, Ont.-based company announced today it is investing $471 million into six facilities across the province. The majority of the money — $265 million — will go towards a new battery enclosure facility in Brampton. The remaining $206 million will go towards expanding Magna’s existing Guelph, Belleville, Newmarket, Windsor and Penetanguishene factories.
“Magna’s roots in Ontario run deep, and we are excited about opening a new facility dedicated to a strategic electrification product. The Brampton facility, coupled with investment and growth in five existing Ontario facilities, allows Magna to keep up with customer demands across several product areas,” said Eric Wilds, Magna’s chief sales and marketing officer, in a press release.
“We are excited to bring new business, more investment and additional jobs to Ontario.”
Three times as many jobs
Magna first announced it would be building a new battery enclosure facility in March of last year. At that time, the plant was to be located in the town of Chatham, Ont. at an existing Magna facility. It was expected to add 175 jobs.
But, in June 2022, the Chatham expansion was cancelled. “[A]djustments in schedules have opened up more capacity at [Magna’s] Formet facility” in nearby St. Thomas, said Magna in a press release at the time.
Now that the dust has settled, the result is a Brampton plant that is almost triple the size of the Chatham project in terms of job creation. Magna says the facility will supply battery enclosures to Ford for its Lightning F-150 electric pickup. Manufacturing for that vehicle happens in Michigan.
Across all six facilities in today’s announcement, over 1,000 new jobs will be added, says Magna. Most of them — 560 — will be at the new Brampton plant.
Showcasing Ontario’s advantages
Magna’s roots are in Ontario where, 65 years ago, the company began as a tool-and-die manufacturer. Today, it operates in 29 countries and employs 168,000 people.
In Canada, the company has 49 manufacturing facilities and 18,000 employees.
“Magna’s decision to expand in six locations across the province showcases Ontario’s advantages in automotive talent,” said Trevor Dauphinee, CEO of Invest Ontario in press materials. “By diversifying automotive parts manufacturing across the province, Magna’s investments will strengthen EV supply chains in Ontario.”
Besides the Brampton plant, the breakdown of today’s additional investments is as follows:
- $140 million to install an electrical coating and painting operation in its Guelph facility (creating approximately 175 jobs);
- $35 million to Magna’s lighting division in Belleville (creating up to 100 jobs);
- $24 million to expand electrical door and hood latching unit production in Newmarket (creating approximately 75 jobs);
- $6 million to expand production in Windsor to manufacture powered aluminum pickup bed covers (creating approximately 110 jobs); and
- $1.8 million to expand production in Penetanguishene to manufacture tailgate hinges (creating more than 15 jobs).
In addition, the government of Ontario is contributing $23.6 million to support the projects.
“We’re creating the right conditions for businesses to succeed and continue to work around the clock to attract new investments that build a stronger economy,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade in a government press release.
Timing for expansions, opening
Earlier this week Magna announced an EV battery enclosure facility for the Chevy Silverado in Michigan. Production will begin in 2023.
Magna says the rollout of the new Ontario investment will be staggered over the balance of 2023.
The operation in Windsor for producing powered aluminum covers has already started.
Next, Magna is looking at opening its new 490,000 square-footbattery enclosure facility in Brampton in Q2 2023. At the same time, the 120,000 square-feet expansion in Guelph will finish, with production beginning there in late spring or early summer.
By the end of this year Belleville will be producing printed circuit boards. The Newmarket and Penetanguishene expansions do not have timelines.
“This investment represents another tremendous show of confidence in the growing strength and resilience of our province’s auto sector,” said Premier Doug Ford in a press statement. “The cars of the future and the batteries that power them will be built right here in Ontario, by Ontario workers.”