General Motors is investing $750-million (US) in research and development in Canada by the end of 2016 to meet a condition it agreed on to get bailout funds from Canadian governments in 2009.
“General Motors of Canada has made great strides since 2009 when our Government pledged its support to help it restructure.
We are encouraged that, thanks in part to that support, GM is now making important investments in the future of the auto sector and manufacturing in Canada,” said Prime Minister Harper.
The projects will focus on environmental technologies, reducing vehicle weight and intelligent transportation systems. Several Ontario universities are working on research projects funded in part by GM Canada, and some of those studies are expected to be expanded or continued as a result of Tuesday’s announcement.
GM Canada President Kevin Williams said the Canadian Engineering Centre had achieved “nearly 100 records of invention” since 2009.
However, even though GM is investing almost $1 billion, the spectre of 2,000 assembly jobs about to be lost in Oshawa next year overshadowed the good news event. GM has about 10,000 workers in Canada.
Since receiving the bailout package, GM has taken efforts to restructure. It has eliminated all but four of its brands and, as a result, has become a smaller, more profitable company.