The new generation of Pacifica minivan has drawn an important investment from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Canada, also creating over 1,000 jobs, the automaker said.
After the unveiling of the new Pacifica family at the Detroit Show in January, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also brought the models at the 2016 Canadian International Auto event in Toronto. To develop and produce the next generation minivans, which the automaker hopes to revolutionize the segment, FCA has invested 3.7 billion Canadian dollars (2.67 billion US dollars) since September 2014 and created 1,200 jobs in Canada. The Pacifica, which is also being developed as Fiat Chrysler’s first hybrid electric minivan, is in early production stages at the company’s plant in Windsor, Ontario, said Reid Bigland, president and chief executive of FCA Canada. The company has not previously detailed how much it was spending to make the new minivan. The project brings Fiat Chrysler employment in Canada to just over 11,000, Bigland revealed. “It’s only pilots right now,” he told reporters at the Canadian International Auto Show. “We should start to ship them out to our dealers in Canada and the United States in May of this year, give or take.”
Such an investment is most welcomed for the country’s automotive sector, as the industry is facing tough time with automakers making plans to lower their expenses by shifting the production from Canada to more friendly-costs regions, such as Mexico. Auto executives at the show said concerns such as the Canadian government’s decision to tax federal loans to manufacturers and the country’s trade policy would impact future investment in domestic production.