As it expands research into self-driving cars and other technology, General Motors Co. (IW 500/3) said it will will hire about 700 engineers in Canada.The company the announcement in Oshawa, Ontario on June 10 alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
GM, which produces six vehicle models in Ontario, will increase its group of engineers in Canada from about 300 to about 1,000 over “the next few years.”
The additional workers, to be based in Oshawa and Markham, suburbs of Toronto, will underpin the push by the federal and provincial governments to boost innovation and renew manufacturing and high-tech development in the economy of Canada’s most populous province and one-time economic engine.
“We selected Canada for this expansion because of its clear capacity for innovation, proven talent and strong ecosystem of great universities, startups and innovative suppliers,” GM Executive Vice President Mark Reuss said.
The engineering positions will focus on autonomous-vehicle software and controls development, safety technology, infotainment and connected vehicle technology, GM said. As part of the expansion, the company will open a new Automotive Software Development Center in Markham.
Ontario’s “dynamic new innovation cluster” will support the automotive innovation work, said Steve Carlisle, president of General Motors Canada.
Manufacturing, which has been in a long-term decline in the country, is still one of Ontario’s key sectors, employing 750,000. There are signs manufacturing is rebounding amid a lower Canadian dollar.
By Josh Wingrove