Invest WindsorEssex Welcomes Next Generation Economy with Launch of Canadian Automobility Hub

Invest WindsorEssex Media Release

Windsor-Essex poised to become the Automobility Capital of Canada and a North American beacon for next generation mobility investment 

WINDSOR-ESSEX, ONTARIO (November 24, 2021) – Today, Invest WindsorEssex (IWE), the lead economic development organization for the Windsor-Essex region, announced the launch of Canada’s first Automobility Hub. Together with local elected officials, global industry leaders, post-secondary education institutions and guests, IWE unveiled one of the region’s new centres for automotive innovation and collaboration at St. Clair College, Windsor Campus.

“Invest WindsorEssex is proud of the efforts to achieve this great milestone contributing to the necessary economic evolution of our region. We have brought together a cluster of innovative partners that are ready to collaborate to compete in the global marketplace as the Automobility Capital of Canada,” said Stephen MacKenzie, President and CEO of IWE. “The Automobility Hub is the first of its kind in Canada. It offers a suite of resources and services, including a state-of-the-art ramp-up factory, to enable and support a network of innovative entrepreneurs and businesses interested in advancing the market for electric, zero-emission, as well as connected and automated vehicle technology and infrastructure.”

The Canadian Automobility Hub was coordinated by IWE to work with regional ecosystem partners, including all levels of government, local post-secondary institutions, program service providers and businesses, as well as bi-national private sector partners, to support and foster entrepreneurship and innovation in automobility. Through IWE’s leadership and the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Canadian Automobility Hub has already begun to catalyze the growth of a next generation automobility cluster. FedDev Ontario provided an investment of $7.5 million to IWE to support 1,350 entrepreneurs and attract $40 million in foreign direct investment in the region. This funding is built on an initial $5 million FedDev Ontario investment announced in September 2019.     

St. Clair College and the University of Windsor are key partners in the Canadian Automobility Hub and provide the critical bridge between industry and research needed to establish an automobility ecosystem and ramp-up factory.

“St. Clair College is proud to be an active partner with IWE and the location of the Automobility Research branch of the Canadian Automobility Hub. Students and graduates from our college will now have a destination to apply their technical expertise to advance software and engineering technology for modern mobility manufacturing right here in Windsor-Essex,” said Patricia France, President, St. Clair College. “Our local community’s manufacturing strength and skilled workforce means we are a hub for innovation, new tech enterprises, and the auto sector of the future.” 

“The University of Windsor continues to support opportunities to leverage our unique assets to ensure that public and private partners have access to the expertise they need to help diversify and strengthen the economy of the Windsor-Essex region,” said University of Windsor President and Vice Chancellor Robert Gordon. “By leveraging these assets and fostering a strong ecosystem of innovation in Windsor-Essex, as well as expanded opportunities for research and development collaboration we are well-positioned to support the transformation of our local economy from the Automotive Capital of Canada to the Automobility Capital of Canada.”

IWE has been critical to the success of this initiative and in securing German-based company PEM Motion, who is providing engineering consulting services and development solutions to help advance technology for vehicle batteries, fuel cells and electric motors right here in Windsor-Essex. “PEM Motion is proud to be one of the anchor private sector partners for the Canadian Automobility Hub. We look forward to working with innovative businesses and entrepreneurs in Windsor-Essex to bring their products to market,” said Christoph Lienemann, Managing Director North America, PEM Motion. 

Locally, Windsor Mold Group brings 50 years of private sector experience in automotive manufacturing and innovation. Together, PEM Motion, Windsor Mold Group and Integris form Automobility Enterprises Inc., the private sector company of the Canadian Automobility Hub. “We are entering a new era of sustainable mobility and the goal of Automobility Enterprises is to bring together German-based innovation in the EV space with North American product development and manufacturing capabilities, right here in Windsor-Essex.” said David Mastronardi, President of Windsor Mold Group and board member of Automobility Enterprises. 

During today’s announcement, representatives from Automobility Enterprises demonstrated an electric e-commerce delivery van built by a Deutsche Post subsidiary. The electric van is part of one of the largest electric vehicle fleets in the world and has been in use for parcel delivery in Germany for over seven years. This model is a great fit for Canadian utility and delivery fleets in the future as they make the transition to electric vehicles. 

By building the Canadian Automobility Hub, Windsor-Essex is attracting investment and creating long-term, high paying, high value tech jobs for the region for years to come. To date, over 30 partnerships, more than 300 new jobs and nearly $50 million in foreign direct investment has been secured through automobility support funding from FedDev Ontario. 

Additional Quotes

“The City of Windsor is proud to be counted among the ecosystem partners that will make the Canadian Automobility Hub a reality. Our city’s economic development strategy, known as Windsor Works, has already primed the pump for the municipality to help drive the region toward the economic diversification, talent attraction and retention and advancement in infrastructure required to attract EV and automobility investment. Eleven municipal lots are installing EV charging stations, and our City of Windsor and Transit Windsor fleet continues to expand the number of EV and hybrid vehicles.” – Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor

“The Canadian Automobility Hub is supercharging our ability to compete and stand out on the world stage. We are already known for our automotive history. This hub will make us a leader in developing and manufacturing the vehicles of the future.” – Gary McNamara, Warden, County of Essex

“Enwin is proud to have taken the first key steps through a partnership with Automobility Enterprises this summer where we jointly explored the user requirements in an electric fleet through detailed workshops and interviews with field operators and our maintenance staff. This has given us a clearer line of sight into the performance and features that our staff needs in an EV platform and we are continuing to work with Automobility Enterprises to bring this to life.” – Helga Riedel, President and CEO, The ENWIN Group of Companies

About the Canadian Automobility Hub – The Canadian Automobility Hub is made up of Automobility Enterprises Inc. (private branch) and Automobility Research (public branch). Key partners include Invest WindsorEssex, PEM Motion, Windsor Mold Group, Integris, St. Clair College, University of Windsor, the City of Windsor and the County of Essex. The ramp-up factory provides an all-in-one solution for industry and research. The Canadian Automobility Hub contains all the machinery and resources necessary to manufacture mobility prototypes. This includes, but is not limited to, a CNC bending machine, additive manufacturing solutions, laser welding, mechanical workshop, framing station, small assembly line as well as machines available to produce and test battery prototypes and drivetrains. Having all these machines and tools creates the perfect space for cost-efficient prototyping and testing of pre-series for electric vehicles using the extensive knowledge and support of participating partners such as research and development groups like PEM Motion, post-secondary institutions like St. Clair College, the University of Windsor and private clean tech companies.

About Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) – Invest WindsorEssex is the lead economic development agency for the Windsor-Essex region. The focus of the organization is to develop and execute strategies to retain, expand, attract and help new businesses start-up in the Windsor-Essex region. Invest WindsorEssex is led by a board of distinguished community leaders. A team of professional staff provides assistance with location and investment decisions by working one-on-one with businesses to facilitate the process of starting, growing or locating a business in Windsor-Essex.

About FedDev Ontario – For more than 12 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects

Media Contacts:

Gina Meret-Dybenko
Manager, Investment Attraction and Corporate Marketing
Invest WindsorEssex
Mobile: 519-791-6223

Lina Williams
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Invest WindsorEssex
Mobile: 226-345-6873

Randy Zadra
Director and Board Member
Automobility Enterprises Inc. 
Mobile: 613-255-5134