Canadian Manufacturing

GM to expand Oshawa research, open new lab in Markham, Ont., and invest $10M in cold-weather test centre

GM says the expansion will add 1,000 jobs over several years; engineers will research autonomous cars and mobility systems



OSHAWA, Ont.—General Motors has announced a major expansion of its engineering and software work in Canada to develop connected, autonomous and shared vehicles and mobility systems.

The company will be adding 1,000 jobs “over the next few years” to conduct research and development on autonomous vehicle software and controls, active safety and vehicle dynamics, infotainment and connected vehicle technology.

The expansion will bring its Oshawa Tech Centre beyond its maximum capacity; GM will also soon open a new Automotive Software Development Centre in Markham, Ont.

The company will be investing $10 million in its Kapuskasing Cold Weather testing facility, which is used to test a wide range of products and technologies.

“We selected Canada for this expansion because of its clear capacity for innovation, proven talent and strong ecosystem of great universities, startups and innovative suppliers,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice-president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “With this expansion, GM Canada will play an important role in our evolution toward vehicles that are connected, autonomous, shared and electric.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne were on hand for the June 10 announcement.

“The investments announced today will create good paying jobs, grow Canada’s middle class, and ensure a brighter future for all Canadians,” Trudeau said. “Meeting with CEO Mary Barra at the World Economic Forum, I made the case for investing in Canada. I applaud GM for choosing Canada to be the home base for its global centre for advanced vehicle software development.”

GM says its Canadian Regional Engineering Centre in Oshawa is an integral part of the GM Global Engineering Enterprise, using state-of-the-art technology to leverage the best engineering talent around the world to bring our customers the best vehicles. It has full-scale vehicle design and development capability and has in the past been used to research chassis and body sub-systems, alternate fuels, specialty vehicles, cold weather development and complex project delivery.

The Centre also provides engineering support for current production vehicles including Manufacturing, Product, and Quality Engineering disciplines.

“A dynamic new innovation cluster is emerging here to support some of the most exciting work in our global industry,” said Steve Carlisle, president and managing director at General Motors Canada. “We look forward to working with Canada’s leaders and innovation partners to place Canada at the forefront of the key transportation technologies that are changing our world for the better. ”

Earlier this year, GM Canada opened its 2908 Communitech Innovation Lab in Waterloo, Ont. to help incubate urban mobility and connected vehicle innovations. In April, the company also announced its purchase of property in south eastern Toronto as the base for a new Urban Mobility Campus.

This video from GM explains the company’s new strategy for Canadian operations:

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