After being closed since Chrysler/Fiat filed for bankruptcy on April 30, the automaker is restarting seven of its North American plants this week, including its Canadian Windsor and Brampton facilities.
But after two recent awarding of new small car plants, it looks like good ol’ U.S. nationalism will shut out Canada from winning any new auto manufacturing contracts for the foreseeable future.
Government Motors—which BTW we Canadian taxpayers own a chunk of now, eh?—just decided which plant it’s going to make the next Chevrolet Aveo subcompact at.
And—surprise, surprise—it ain’t Oshawa.
Nope. With over US $1 billion in tax incentives and training support, GM picked one of its existing plants in Wisconsin.
Of course, (more) free government money wasn’t the only tipping point in choosing the U.S. plant.
“If they hire enough lower wage people, they can come within $100 to $150 of the cost of building a comparable car in China,” explains Sean McAlinden of the Center for Automotive Research.
Now back to the second government ward: Chrysler/Fiat.
The first planned North American product of this American-Italian hookup will be the Fiat 500 city car (forget Cinquecento, that’s been abandoned in any U.S. PR info.)
The 500 is due sometime in 2011. And it won’t be built in Windsor, nor Brampton, nor where it was most likely to be made for the most profit: in Mexico.
Nope. How about Chrysler's plant in Belvedere, Illinois, famous for making the Dodge Neon until the spring of 2006.
Did anyone think this wasn’t going to happen?
Did anyone actually believe that U.S. government-owned GM and Chrysler/Fiat were going to award contracts outside the U.S. of A.?
[Source: Detroit Free Press, Inside Line]