Page actions

Innovation drives our sector

A global automotive powerhouse, Ontario is home to a unique ecosystem of world-leading vehicle assemblers, parts manufacturers and research centres that have been meeting the needs of international customers for more than 100 years. Today, Ontario’s parts manufacturers are at the forefront of the revolution in lightweight materials, electric powertrains, driverless vehicles and connected-car technologies.

Here’s how our auto sector is driving innovation:

29 Awards - JD Powers

Powering North America’s top automotive cluster

Driving the success of the cluster has been more than 700 parts suppliers including Tier-1 multinationals, such as Magna, Linamar and Martinrea. Additionally, there are more than 500 tool, die and mold companies that boast cutting-edge design capabilities, and are acknowledged leaders in hot stamping and hydroforming technologies that are key to advances in lightweighting.

The expertise of Ontario’s automotive cluster spans the entire spectrum, from proof-of-concept prototyping to production line automation systems to global logistics tracking software.

A centre for award-winning quality

High quality, made-in-Ontario auto parts have been instrumental to the success of Ontario’s assembly plants. Since 1990, these plants have won 29 quality awards from J.D. Power & Associates, more than any other state or jurisdiction in North America.

Because of that long-standing focus on quality, international buyers know that made-in-Ontario parts will meet their most demanding specifications.

High value at highly competitive costs

Ontario suppliers can deliver top-quality auto parts at highly competitive prices:

  • A key ingredient in Ontario’s cost advantage is its R&D tax credit regime – one of the most generous among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jurisdictions.
  • As well its extensive 3D printing network allows automotive design engineers to dramatically accelerate the transformation of digital files into physical parts without needing to build a tool.
  • Ontario also has the lowest costs for automotive businesses in the G7.
  • Canada has free trade agreements with more than 16 countries.
  • Additionally, the current exchange rate for the Canadian dollar against many major currencies favours international buyers.

World class customer service

Canada is consistently ranked in the top 5 countries for customer satisfaction worldwide, with satisfaction ratings of over 90%. Ontario is home to some 200 different ethnicities speaking over 150 languages, which helps Ontario companies provide seamless customer support and services in a variety of languages.

Driving the future

Ontario is in pole position in automotive innovation - its research, design and commercialization infrastructure has few peers:

  • Best-in-class wind tunnels and acoustic chambers; premier test tracks;
  • a dense network of International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/ International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)-certified labs;
  • a rich labour pool of design engineers, software engineers, programmable logic controller (PLC) programmers, specialized technicians and highly skilled tradespeople;
  • world-class educational institutions in science and engineering;
  • and a supportive legal and regulatory framework.
500 tool and die makers

Ontario researchers are also investigating how new materials and technology platforms can make vehicles smarter, safer and greener. Areas of focus include advanced lightweight materials, next-generation coatings and intelligent traffic systems.

It’s no surprise that breakthrough technologies from Ontario research labs are shaping the future of connected-car technologies, driverless vehicles and electric-hybrid powertrain systems. They’re helping Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and auto parts suppliers worldwide meet changing customer demands, gain market share and stay ahead of the competitive curve.

700 parts suppliers