Automobility News: April 2023

We are thrilled to share with you the most recent announcements and developments in the Windsor-Essex region for the month of April. See below to read our top highlights.

Magna International’s Windsor expansion creates 110 new jobs

Automotive parts manufacturer, Magna International, announced it will invest $6 million in its Windsor mechatronics plant as part of a wide-ranging $470-million package to expand its Ontario operations and add more than 1,000 jobs across the province. The company will use its existing Twin Oaks Drive facility in east Windsor for the new production.  

The Magna investment builds on the manufacturing transformation and diversification taking place in the Windsor-Essex region. These types of investments serve as an attraction for other companies considering locating in North America, which is forecast to be the fastest-growing electric battery market in the world in 2023. This is a game-changing investment by Magna that will create hundreds of new jobs across the province while further strengthening Ontario’s end-to-end automotive supply chain.  

Our Investment Attraction team has been working with Magna International on their Windsor expansion since February 2022. The team has provided support to the company by identifying available government funding streams including the City of Windsor’s Community Improvement Program (CIP), the Southwestern Development Fund from the Province of Ontario and other training-related incentives. READ MORE

Invest WindsorEssex partners with Virtualware to accelerate VR CAVE capabilities for the automobility sector

The Windsor-Essex Regional Technology Development Site (WE RTDS), led by Invest WindsorEssex (IWE), announced a partnership with virtual reality (VR) company Virtualware (EPA:MLVIR) to expand SME access and use cases for Canada’s largest publicly accessible VR CAVE

The WE RTDS is one of seven Regional Technology Development Sites (RTDS) made possible through the Ontario Centre of Innovation’s (OCI) and Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) initiative. The WE RTDS specializes in cross-border technology, advanced simulation, virtual reality and automotive cybersecurity.  

The partnership between Invest WindsorEssex and Virtualware further supports innovation in Canada’s automobility ecosystem through the expansion of IWE’s VR CAVE capabilities and the programming available to companies through the WE RTDS. The IWE VR CAVE will now include a unique integration with VIROO, the pioneering VR as a Service (VRaaS) platform developed by Virtualware.  READ MORE

MathWorks: MATLAB and Simulink information session

Learn what’s new in technical computing and model-based design with MathWorks: MATLAB and Simulink’s information session on May 4.  

Join application engineers at this one-day event (in-person or virtually) to learn about  

  • Fundamentals of data analysis 
  • Dynamic system simulation 
  • Automatic code generation 
  • Algorithm testing and verification  
  • Fundamentals of battery system design  

W.E. Manufacture Magazine features Windsor’s first lithium-ion battery plant

The NextStar Energy lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant on Twin Oaks Drive is the largest private sector investment in Ontario’s history. The construction work going on at the site is moving at a breathtaking pace.  

Sung Park, planning director of NextStar Energy, there was support from all levels of government: municipal, provincial, and federal. “Compared to the United States, we found the best support here in the form of incentives, infrastructure support, the Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZO:), which shortened the approval process.” Sung said. “The city government provided us with a very good site at a very competitive price.” 

The NextStar Energy site search group was also impressed by Windsor’s physical location, situated right next to Detroit. Windsor is the capital of automotive manufacturing in Canada,” Sung says. We were looking for a place where the auto industry is strong. In the battery manufacturing industry, we need help from the auto industry.” Sung continues: “As we looked deeper at Windsor as a possible site, we saw that the Canadian workforce is as strong as the American workforce.” READ MORE

Windsor’s automotive roots run deep but lesser known is its history as home to bicycle manufacturing

One of the original bicycles built by Windsorite Fred Evans and Michigan’s John and Horace Dodge late in the 19th century is the centrepiece of a new Windsor Cycling History exhibit curated by University of Windsor law professor Chris Waters at the Chimczuk Museum

The Dodge brothers, famous for their automotive manufacturing and the Dodge brand that still exists today, began working with Evans in 1892 at the Canadian Typograph Company, located near the ferry docks at the foot of present-day Ouellette Avenue. 

“The exhibit kind of chronicles Windsor’s cycling history,” said Craig Capacchione, Museum Windsor exhibitions co-ordinator. “Windsor is known as the motor city, but we were a cycling city long before the car was here,” he added. “The exhibit showcases the other avenue of transportation in Windsor and kind of that rich history that we have here.” READ MORE