Stellantis will spend $3.3 billion to retool a pair of assembly plants in Ontario and build two new R&D centres in the province, the automaker said Monday.
Stellantis will retool its factories in Windsor and Brampton, converting them to what the company described in a statement as “flexible, multi-energy vehicle assembly facilities ready to produce the electric vehicles of the future.”
The company will also two build two new R&D centres in Windsor, focusing on electric vehicles and EV battery technology.
The governments of Canada and Ontario will each give Stellantis up to $513 million toward the projects.
Stellantis, during contract negotiations with Unifor, committed to spend up to $1.5 billion to retool its Windsor factory.
Stellantis said the retooling of its Windsor Assembly Plant, which currently builds the Chrysler brand minivans, will “diversify the company’s capacity by introducing battery-electric or hybrid models to the production line to meet growing consumer demand for low-emissions vehicles,” the automaker said.
It didn’t say which new products will eventually be assembled in Windsor.
“We are in the middle of the biggest revolution in the auto industry since the conception of the assembly line in 1913,” Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy, who represents unionized workers in Windsor, said in a statement. “Ontario is well placed to play an essential role in the new motoring revolution.”
A similar upgrade will take place at the automaker’s Brampton Assembly Plant, which current builds the Chrysler 300 sedan and Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger.
At that factory, Stellantis said it will install a flexible assembly line capable of producing battery-electric and hybrid vehicles. The modernized plant will have an initial annual capacity of 200,000 vehicle units, the company said.
Prabmeet Sarkaria, Conservative member of provincial parliament for Brampton South, said in a statement that “today’s investments continue to build tomorrow’s innovations.”
On the R&D front, Stellantis said it will modernize its Automotive Research and Development Centre in Windsor by expanding and building two “Centres of Competency.”
“The Electric Vehicle and Battery Pack Testing Centres of Competency will establish Ontario as a major R&D hub for the company across all stages of production – from design to development,” Stellantis said.
In addition to R&D, the centres will provide “major opportunities for local talent, universities, colleges, and start-ups to participate in the development of Ontario’s EV ecosystem.”
The automaker said the hubs will be central to Stellantis’ R&D operations in North America and “serve the company’s worldwide needs for technology, process and product development.”
“These investments re-affirm our long-term commitment to Canada and represent an important step as we move toward zero-emission vehicles that deliver on our customers’ desire for innovative, clean, safe and affordable mobility,” Mark Stewart, COO FCA – North America at Stellantis, said in a statement.
The announcement comes a little more than one month after the automaker and LG Energy Solution jointly committed $5.2 billion to build an electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor.
This report will be updated.