Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 12

12

* MARCH 2020

FOURTH
ANNUAL

CANADA CONGRESS

RISING TO THE CHALLENGES FACING THE CANADIAN AUTO INDUSTRY WAS THE
theme of the fourth annual Automotive News Canada Congress, Feb. 13 in Toronto.
Presentations, discussions and debates involving leading executives focused on
Ontario's competitiveness as a place for automakers and suppliers to do business,
online technology challenging the traditional dealership model, and the critical
shortage of skilled workers in an industry that's adopting more automation.

Magna's Walker: China could 'roll over' N.A.
NAFTA replacement
means jobs and
investment, but China
is a 'scary competitor'
By JOHN IRWIN
TORONTO BUREAU

TORONTO - THE NEW UNITED
States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
(USMCA) will make the North
American market more competitive globally, and not a moment too
soon, according to the CEO of Magna
International Inc.
Don Walker suspected the United
States' "real objective" in launching
trade discussions in North America
was to "level the playing field" with
China.

APMA President Flavio Volpe said the
battle over a NAFTA replacement is
over, but "the world remains in flux."

"I think it was probably 10 years
too late, and they would probably
admit that," Walker said. "But China
is going to roll over [North America]
if we don't get a stronger position and
better negotiation with them. They're
a scary competitor."
Walker said the USMCA, which
raises regional content requirements
and introduces new labour standards,
should result in more jobs and investment in Canada.
"There's a lot of detail here, but
overall, I think it will be good for the
industry. There should be more jobs
here and more investment here and
more trading with great trading partners, the U.S. and Mexico."
The Automotive Parts
Manufacturers' Association (APMA)
has estimated that higher content
rules in the new trade deal will translate into an additional $8 billion in
yearly sales for Canada's suppliers
Walker cautioned that the transition from the North American Free
Trade Agreement to the USMCA's
rules could be too quick to allow the
industry to properly understand and
adjust to new regulations. Under the
terms of the deal, the USMCA will go
into effect 90 days after the last country ratifies the deal.
Walker said he has written letters
to senior U.S. and Canadian officials
urging them to push the start date
back to the beginning of 2021.
"We're going to have to make sure
all the [automakers] approach it the
same way, but there's no way we're
going to get it done," he said. "The
fact is regional value content is going
up. That should mean there's going to
be more local sourcing, unless it gets
so complicated where they can't meet

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Magna CEO Don Walker, interviewed by Automotive News Canada Publisher
Jason Stein, said whether the USMCA helps to boost production in Canada
and the United States depends on the complexity of content rules.
P H O T O S : G I A N C A R L O PA W E L E C

the target - in which case somebody
may say, 'I'm going to make the vehicle outside of NAFTA, pay the duty
and ship it in.'
APMA President Flavio Volpe said
that the USMCA will make Canada
"more attractive" for auto investment.
But, while the NAFTA battle is
over, "the world remains in flux."
Volpe pointed to recent
media reports that U.S. Trade

Representative Robert Lighthizer
wanted to raise the World Trade
Organization's most-favoured-nation
tariff rates, a cornerstone of WTO
trading rules, which require that the
same rates be applied equally to all of
the organization's members.
"If you're importing vehicles into
the U.S., this is important," said
Volpe.
"We've been warning about this
for two years at the APMA." - ANC

Jeep builds momentum with new plants
Brand boss Jim Morrison
says the facilities will
boost capacity; FCA
lays the foundation
for electrification
By JOHN IRWIN
TORONTO BUREAU

TORONTO - MULTIBILLIONdollar investments in Michigan will
help Fiat Chrysler Automobiles keep
hungry Canadian retailers fed with
Jeep vehicles, said the brand's North
American head.
FCA is investing US $4.5 billion
($5.96 billion) in five Detroit-area

factories, including the creation of
an assembly plant in the city for the
first time in decades.
The projects are
KEYNOTE SPEAKER
expected to
allow FCA to build more Jeeps in a
North American market dominated
by utility vehicles.
"We've got a couple new investments in Detroit where we've got two
new plants coming online," said Jim
Morrison, a native of Fredericton,
N.B., who led Fiat Chrysler's Ram
brand in North America for three
years.
"The key is getting the right product at the right time and supporting
the dealers."
FCA also plans to build hybrid and

electric Jeeps in Michigan, with the
automaker saying it plans to offer
electrified options on all models by
2022.
Asked about how the brand, known
for its rugged vehicles, expects to
make the leap into electrification,
Morrison said Jeep off-road drivers will find that a quieter drive will
appeal to them.
"I think what's neat is that the
quiet, open-air experience is something that's almost an out-of-body
experience that people will be able to
enjoy."
Jeep Canada sales in 2019 fell 2.1
per cent from a year earlier to 70,071
units.
Morrison said he hopes new products such as the Gladiator pickup will

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The head of Jeep in North America,
Jim Morrison, says big investments
in plants in Michigan will help
the brand get more vehicles into
showrooms.

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boost Jeep sales this year.
"We're continuing to look to grow,"
he said in an interview after his
speech. - ANC

in
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ly

P H O T O : G I A N C A R L O PA W E L E C



Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2

Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 28
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