Autos still a driver of Canadian economy

OTTAWA — The automobile and auto parts manufacturing industry remains a key driver of Canada’s economy. Here’s a look at the numbers, taken from a report published in April by McMaster University’s Automotive Policy Research Centre:

— An average of 2.4 million vehicles were built annually in Canada over the past five years.

— The automotive industry directly employed 140,404 Canadians in 2016, an increase of almost 15,000 since 2012.

— Three Ontario auto assembly plants — Ford in Oakville, Toyota in Cambridge and Fiat Chrysler in Windsor — are among the six biggest employers in manufacturing and resource extraction in Canada. Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor plant is the largest manufacturing workplace, with more than 6,000 employees.

— Canadian-owned automotive parts manufacturers employ 51,923 people — more than half of all employment in this sector globally.

And according to the U.S.-based Observatory of Economic Complexity:

— Vehicles were Canada’s second largest export, right behind crude petroleum, in 2015. They accounted for $44.9 billion worth of exports (11.5 per cent of a total $389 billion in exports).

— Vehicles were also Canada’s No. 1 import — $26.2 billion worth.

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