The Great Lakes Supercluster is the largest vehicle-producing region in North America, and the integration of the Michigan – Ontario automotive industry supply chain and automotive assembly help promote their respective capabilities and innovations, which in turn helps North America compete successfully with the rest of the world.
As the pandemic took hold last year, travel restrictions halted the typical tech scouting missions and site location visits conducted by Canadian Trade Commissioners (TCs) across North America, and TCs at Canada’s Consulate-General in Detroit were no exception. This change in “business as usual” led to new and creative ways of interacting with the automotive industry in the Detroit area on both sides of the border.
As a means of showcasing Canadian automotive and mobility leadership, and to supplement the momentum gained through the Government of Canada’s partnership of the Automotive News PACE Innovation Awards over the past two years, the Consulate-General partnered with local webcast Autoline. Created and hosted by Emmy-award winning broadcaster and automotive expert John McElroy, the live, weekly program is shown on YouTube and Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) across the U.S. and Canada. McElroy started as an hourly worker with the United Automotive Workers union and translated his automotive knowledge and interest to his career as a journalist covering the industry.
The Autoline shows highlighted Canada’s contribution to the North American supply chain of automotive manufacturing in the following areas: 1) artificial intelligence; 2) electric vehicle and battery technologies; 3) autonomous & connected car technologies and 4) electric vehicle, battery technologies and mines to battery proposition. These shows demonstrated the strong partnership between Canada and the U.S. and their competitiveness in the automotive industry.
The Canadian and U.S. automotive industries are highly integrated and reliant on each other for the supply of vehicles and parts. The integration with the automotive industry began in 1965 with the Canada–United States Automotive Products Agreement (the Auto Pact) and continues today with the recently ratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Today, Canadian assembled vehicles, on average, contain 50 per cent U.S. parts and components; as many of the vehicles produced in Canada have engines and transmissions that were manufactured in the U.S. The Canadian and U.S. Government have stood together time and again to ensure the sustainability of the automotive sector in North America.