Toronto, Ontario – While 2020 was, by most accounts, a year severely lacking in pleasant memories, Desrosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) is suggesting that the previous year may in fact go down in history as a highly significant one in the context of the Canadian automotive industry, according to a new report from the company.
DAC opened the report by placing 2020 along a timeline of significant years in the Canadian automotive industry. 1965, the signing of the Canada-US Auto Pact; 1986, the opening of Honda Alliston—the first Japanese plant in Canada; 1999, Canadian industry exceeds 3 million units in production; 2002, the closure of Sainte-Thérèse and consolidation of the light vehicle assembly sector to Ontario.
According to DAC, 2020 is due to be the latest milestone on the path of Canada’s automotive industry as the year saw production levels plummeting to lows unseen since 1982; two million units in 2019 down to 1.4 million in 2020.
As managing partner of DAC, Andrew King pointed out that “When Canadian production peaked in 1999, Canada’s share of North American production was over 17 percent. However, by 2020 Canada’s production share settled at approximately 11 percent, losing ground to Mexico and the US.”
The year was also marked by a few bright spots as well, such as with GM announcing the re-opening of their Oshawa plant with assembly of full-sized pickups and GM, Ford and Stellantis (formerly FCA) announcing plans for EV development in Canada.