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PRESS RELEASE

Automakers Support Government Direction on Repositioning the Automotive Industry.

Toronto, ON – 2008-02-29

“The federal government’s attention and focus on one of Canada’s most important sectors of the economy is greatly welcomed and well timed given the challenges currently faced by Canada’s vehicle manufacturers,” said Mark Nantais, President of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA).

Through a large and diverse supply chain that results in over $30 billion in annual purchases, vehicle manufacturers are leaders in an industry that supports hundreds of thousands Canadians in dozens of related industries, such as natural resources, oil and gas, plastics, transportation services, finance, information technology, aluminum and steal manufacturing, and retail across the country.

“Today’s speech by Minister Prentice has clearly carved out a positive role for government to support our industry going forward,” stated Nantais. “The government's policy is positive and should assist our industry as it transforms, adapts and strengthens in response to unprecedented global challenges.”

“The auto investment fund is especially critical for our industry as many companies are looking for tools to help them reinvest in their Canadian operations. In order to be fully effective, the auto fund needs to be sufficiently flexible in order to encourage auto investments that encompass innovative, more efficient and world class manufacturing processes; that enhance Canada's competitiveness in automotive manufacturing; that introduce more fuel efficient products; and/or that enhance Canada's automotive research and development.” Currently, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors all have significant R&D facilities and partnerships in Canada.

We look forward to working closely with the federal government, provincial governments, as well as the rest of industry and labour to establish the full details of these announced programs, particularly the auto fund, and to effectively implement the necessary changes as soon as possible. We believe that if this fund is structured properly it could become a catalyst that levers other federal and provincial funds to attract auto investments that support the federal government’s goals of enhancing innovation, competitiveness and R&D in Canada.

For further information please contact:

Mark Nantais
President
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association
416.364.9333

About the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association

The CVMA is the national association representing Canada’s leading manufacturers of light and heavy duty vehicles. Our membership includes Chrysler Canada Inc., Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited, General Motors of Canada Limited and International Truck & Engine Corporation Canada.

In partnership with the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, CVMA members have contributed over 80% of almost $10.15 billion in new automotive (parts and assembly) investment announced since 2002. These investments involve a transition to flexible manufacturing, new advanced skills training programs, significant investments in research and development, and the implementation of leading-edge environmental technologies.

In 2007, our member companies produced over 71% of the 2.5 million light duty vehicles built in Canada and accounted for 53% of all light duty vehicles sold in Canada. Our members purchase over 80% of all automotive parts produced in Canada for vehicle production across North America.

The automotive industry has been the driving force of Canada’s economy for over 100 years.


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