Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the renewal of funding for the Canadian auto industry totaling 250 million Canadian dollars.
The Automotive Innovation Fund allows manufacturers to apply for funding for specific research and development projects, provided that carmakers also help fund the projects.
First established in 2008, the program led to $1.6 billion in investments in its initial term, six times the value of the fund. Stephen Harper said the Automotive Innovation Fund has helped Canada’s auto sector become more innovative, agile and competitive.
“The rebound of our auto sector in this country is one of Canada’s biggest economic and industrial success stories of the last five years. Therefore I’m pleased to announce today that our government will make another significant five-year investment in the automotive innovation fund,” Harper said at the Ford plant in Oakville, Ontario.
Only massive research and development projects valued at more than $75 million are considered for funding under the government’s program. So far, importan companies including Ford, Magna International and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada have drawn money from the fund for projects.
The announcement comes as the country’s auto sector is affected by General Motors’ announcement in December that it will produce the next generation its Chevrolet Camaro in Lansing, Michigan, instead of at GM’s Canadian production hub in Oshawa, Ontario, where it currently produces the vehicle.