November 17, 2003

Think-tank establishes priorities for promoting Canadian automotive industry

Toronto, Ontario – In its fourth meeting since its inception in September 2002, the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council (CAPC) announced the results of its strategies and new priorities in its efforts to promote the future success of the Canadian automotive industry.

CAPC Co-Chair Michael Grimaldi, President of General Motors of Canada, commented that, “The future of our industry in Canada depends on our ability to create conditions that will attract new investments in Canadian automotive manufacturing, components and services. We have made significant progress since we started CAPC in September 2002 but, having now identified clear
priorities for action, we must move with a greater sense of urgency and be accountable for implementing our plans.”

Positive steps over the past year have included government commitments to eliminate Federal capital taxes, announced plans for border infrastructure improvement and the creation of an automotive sector human resources council. CAPC’s working groups have identified additional priorities for the Canadian automotive industry including the need for greater flexibility and
coordination in government automotive investment programs, resolution of uncoordinated regulatory initiatives, further tax changes to encourage industry-driven research and development, innovation, investment and more urgent implementation of border crossing improvements.

In addition to reviewing the priorities put forth by its working groups, the Council deliberated at length on a report by its Strategic Vision Working Group. Discussions focused on the factors and goals that should drive efforts to sustain and expand Canada’s position in the automotive sector over the next 15 years. The Council is considering a longer-term vision that would focus on several key attributes of the industry, as well as potential goals relating to
the assembly and parts industries, investment, employment, innovation, sustainability and the regulatory environment.

Council Co-Chair Don Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Intier Automotive, remarked that “CAPC’s work in the development of a measurable longer-term vision has been an important step forward. CAPC’s vision focuses on drawing investment to our industry in Canada, and just as business expects a return on its investments, our industry fully understands
that the public expects strong returns on government investments in this sector.”

“One year ago, we took a bold step in creating a new process,” said Allan Rock, Minister of Industry, noting the impressive progress CAPC has achieved to date. “We collectively believed that we could come together to develop a common vision for the future of the automotive industry in Canada, as well as the priorities and strategies for getting there. CAPC members are working together to shape the future of this industry in Canada. The level of commitment toward achieving this future is truly impressive to me.”

CAPC also welcomed the participation and commitment of Ontario’s new Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Joe Cordiano. Minister Cordiano took this opportunity to signal Ontario’s new commitment to the industry. “Ontario values the opportunity to work with CAPC
to ensure that the automotive sector not only survives, but has a bright and prosperous future,” stated Minister Cordiano.

The reports of the CAPC working groups are available at
The Canadian Automotive Partnership Council was launched in September 2002. It is composed of senior executives from industry (assembly, parts manufacturers and distributors, and dealers), labour and academia, as well as the industry and economic development ministers from the governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec. The mandate of the Council is to identify actions
to strengthen the Canadian automotive industry in the short and long term.

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