Honda getting government help to revamp Ontario plants

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. Published reports indicate 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. 


Workers inspect cars moving along an assembly line at a Honda manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ont. (Fred Thornhill/Reuters)

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 prepared for an afternoon announcement at the Alliston plant, which is about 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto.

“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.

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.

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