Honda Canada plans $492M revamp of Alliston, Ont., facilities

Honda is spending more than $400 million to upgrade its Alliston, Ont., facilities to build new models of the Civic and the CR-V, with financial support also coming from the federal and Ontario governments.

Ottawa and Queen’s Park will each contribute $41.8 million. The government money will be in the form of grants to Honda.

The automaker will use the funds to prepare the main assembly lines for the next-generation models of the Civic and CR-V, and to complete a new paint shop at the Alliston plant, which is about 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto.

Honda Canada Inc. president and CEO Jerry Chenkin said the new paint shop will help the company cut greenhouse gas emissions from its paint process by 44 per cent.

The federal government said its financial support will be doled out over three years.

Honda employs 4,000 people

“This investment in Honda of Canada will bring significant economic and environmental benefits to Canada both now and in the long term,” said federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains in a release.

“Honda is a cornerstone of our sector, accounting for about 17 per cent of Ontario’s vehicle output,” Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth Brad Duguid said in the release.

Honda of Canada Manufacturing employs about 4,000 full-time and contract staff, and produced about 385,000 vehicles and 221,000 engines in 2015. The company’s 45-acre Alliston facility includes two vehicle production plants, an engine plant and a stamping forming plant.

Chenkin said Honda has already spent more than $1 billion over the past three years upgrading its manufacturing plants.

Bains and Duguid said the funding announced Monday will help maintain current employment and production levels at the Alliston facility.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation slammed the announcement, with its federal director Aaron Wudrick calling it an “egregious example of corporate welfare” and “a massive waste of taxpayer dollars.”

The Globe and Mail reported that the Honda plan means automakers have committed over the past four months to an investment of more than $2 billion in Canada.