March 1, 2003

GM and Quebec government pledge millions to expand automotive supplier base

Montreal, Quebec – General Motors of Canada, the Government of Québec and the Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) signed an agreement on Friday that lays the foundation to develop the Québec automotive supplier base.

Michael Grimaldi, President of General Motors of Canada said, “Today, GM sources $800 million annually from suppliers in Québec, substantially more than any other auto manufacturer. The agreement we signed today with the Government of Québec establishes a plan to expand the capability of existing Québec based suppliers, develop the potential of new suppliers and attract new companies to Québec.”

GM has set a target of allocating an additional $400 million in new GM contracts to current or future suppliers over the next five years. In addition, GM has committed to engage Québec universities and research institutions in a $10 million research and development program over the next five years to enhance its knowledge and capabilities in lightweight materials applications.

“The agreement signed today by the Government of Québec is completely aligned with our full employment strategy and it contributes to the value placed on leading-edge sectors. As we wish to have a solid automotive industry in Québec, the Government of Québec has given itself the objective of securing up to $400 million in new contracts for Québec suppliers from principals other than GM. Cumulatively, these efforts could increase the annual purchases of parts and sub-systems from $1.6 to $2.4 billion,” declared the Deputy Premier of Québec, Mrs. Pauline Marois.

“To reach these goals and develop the Québec supplier base, we will allocate up to $280 million in the form of financial aid either through existing or new programmes. On another note, we are also committing ourselves to sustaining the research and development of products, up to a $10 million ceiling, such that the capacity of lightweight-material production in Québec may be increased,” added Mrs. Lucie Papineau, Minister-Delegate of Industry and Commerce.

“This agreement highlights Québec’s competitive edge in lightweight materials by accelerating the development of new Québec suppliers in the automotive sector and thereby increasing the opportunities for other suppliers to set up business across the province,” added the Deputy Premier.

“The SGF will create a wholly-owned subsidiary, the Québec Auto Partnership (QAP Inc.), which will fall under the responsibility of its SGF Transport division. The QAP will act as a one-stop-shop, coordinating the various investment projects in the automotive sector and will facilitate access to principals. It will ensure that all of Québec’s applicable advantages and programmes are fully leveraged and that the projects truly meet the needs of the automotive industry. SGF will continue to realise its objectives and will be able to participate in the equity financing of suppliers so that they may establish themselves or expand their business in Québec based on a solid foundation,” declared Mr.

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