Automaker looks to boost advanced technology research, drive innovation and boost partnerships with universities and suppliers.
OSHAWA, Ont.: General Motors (GM) of Canada is investing $850 million in research and development (R&D) activities through 2016 to boost advanced technology research, support partnerships with auto parts suppliers to drive innovation and boost linkages with Canadian universities.
The automaker said the investment is aimed at meeting R&D commitments it made when Canadian governments invested $10.5 billion to keep it on its feet during the economic downturn.
GM says the investments leverage Canada’s expertise in strategic and important technologies by expanding activities in light-weighting materials, mechatronics, software and communications.
The investment will be used to delve in new advanced technology research at GM’s Canadian Engineering Centre in Oshawa, which has been touted as integral to the company’s R&D activities. It will also enhance partnerships with its Canadian suppliers to boost innovation and competiveness, including co-development projects and opportunities for start-ups to access cash through GM Ventures.
The automaker is also looking to develop formal technology linkages among Canadian universities, institutes, suppliers and manufacturers in key technology areas aligned with Canadian R&D clusters.
GM has a strong presence in Oshawa, despite recently announcing it was closing one of its two plants there. The automaker makes the Chevrolet Impala, Camada and Equinox and the Buick Regal in Oshawa, employing more than 4,500 people.
Last year, GM invested $117 million at the Oshawa flex-plant to build the Cadillac XTS.
GM employs about 10,000 people at its Ontario operations. It has plants in Oshawa and Ingersoll and a parts plant in St. Catharines.