A Slowdown in Production

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Canada produces less than 9% of the light vehicles assembled in North America. PHOTO Carlos Aranda / Unsplash

The Canadian auto assembly industry had a historically difficult year in 2021.

A recent report by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants indicates that the Canadian light vehicle assembly sector, after a very difficult year in 2020, recorded the lowest number of units produced in the last decade.

The report refers to the difficult years related to the oil crisis of the 1970s and the recession of 2009 to situate the results for 2021.

While Canadian light vehicle production peaked in the 1990s at over 3 million units assembled, production only reached about 1.4 million vehicles in 2020 and just over 1.1 million units in 2021. Prior to the pandemic and various supply issues, nearly two million vehicles had been assembled here in 2019. The shortage of semiconductors would have been the main factor in the historic decline in production.

From a continental perspective, Canadian deliveries have declined to just under 9% of all light vehicles assembled in North America.

Of the five active manufacturers in the country, Totoya is doing particularly well with 427,056 units produced in 2021. At the other end of the scale, GM delivered only 36,465 light vehicles during the same period.

However, the U.S. manufacturer is illustrating the industry’s transition period as it has restarted the Oshawa plant and the Ingersoll plant, hit hard by the semiconductor shortage, will see its production migrate to a promising vehicle; a fully electric commercial delivery van. An investment of one billion dollars will be necessary to guarantee the start of deliveries of these vehicles next November.


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