Automotive Sector

Southwestern Ontario is one of the world's most successful regions for automotive and transportation equipment parts production. Ontario is the second largest jurisdiction for automotive assembly in North America, just behind Michigan and four out of 10 of North America's most productive assembly plants are in Ontario.

Five automakers, 700 plus automotive parts manufacturers and 500 plus tool, die and mould makers operate here because of our highly skilled people, the strength of our infrastructure, strategic access to the North American market, a dynamic environment for Research & Development and a culture of high-quality, award-winning manufacturing!

Oxford Connection's large network of superhighways and railways offers unparalleled access to North American markets, supporting high-volume traffic flow through the region and across the border into Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and New York. Along the 230-mile (373 kilometre) stretch between Toronto and Windsor, there are 5 automotive assemblers, 2 heavy-duty truck assembly plants and nearly all of Ontario's 500 parts manufacturers.

Many Supply Chains

Seventy percent of North America's assembly plants are within a day's drive of the Oxford Connection region. A strong, local supply chain is one of the key factors contributing to the low unit costs of production and high productivity among the area's parts producers.

Raw and processed non-ferrous metals, plastics and high-quality steel all exist within a morning's delivery drive to local manufacturers. The area also hosts a world-class tool and die industry with many outstanding job shops, casting operations, heat treatment facilities, stamping operations and plating facilities.

Proximity to Ontario's Innovation Ecosystem

Ontario is home to nine leading universities with 24+ auto-focused research programs
Ontario’s 106,000 autoworkers offer:

  • Dedication: On average, our workers stay with a company for close to nine years; that means reduced training costs for employers
  • Value for money: Cadillac, Lexus and Lincoln vehicles are built here. Why? Because building high-quality, prestigious brands require dedication and attention to detail.

Tackling today’s challenges requires access to state-of-the-art facilities to create the products of the future. Here are just a few examples of facilities that provide a new understanding of complex materials and product improvements in the automotive sector. If you are an R&D innovator, imagine the possibilities of locating in proximity to Ontario’s robust innovation ecosystem.

The Automotive Centre of Excellence at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is one of the largest and most sophisticated climatic wind tunnels on the planet where test winds reach speeds of 240 kilometres per hour, temperatures range from -40 to +60°C and relative humidity ranges from 5-95%.

Canmet MATERIALS Lab in Hamilton, along with its lab in Calgary, is the largest research centre in Canada dedicated to metals and materials fabrication, processing and evaluation.

The Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research in partnership with the University of Western Ontario is developing materials that are lightweight or have low life-cycle impact for manufacturers in the automotive, transportation, construction, defense and renewable energy sectors.

The Waterloo Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS) provides researchers with an inspiring exploration and development environment for innovation in all aspects of electromagnetic communication and sensing science and engineering.

Who’s Here?

  • Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota run 12 plants in Ontario - we’re the only province or state in North America with five OEMs.
  • ABC Group, IMS (Intelligent Mechatronic Systems), Magna, Linamar, Martinrea, Multimatic, MIS Electronics, Valiant and The Woodbridge Group are headquartered here.
  • Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing builds its multimillion-dollar mining trucks for the North and South American markets here.
  • Hino, a division of Toyota, manufactures trucks in Woodstock, Ontario.

The “Bottom Line”

Since 1990, Ontario assembly plants have won 31 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study awards, the industry’s benchmark for new vehicle quality manufacturing. That’s a third of the North American awards in the category.

Each year, Canadian subsidiaries of the top auto brands in the world impress and take home industry awards.

Ontario operations of GM, Toyota, and Chrysler have all been recognized for their exceptional quality production in recent years.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Manufacturing Locations Index (cost sensitive operations) found that, among 30 established locations, Canada is ranked the third most attractive destination for cost sensitive operations after Malaysia and Taiwan!

Oxford Quick Facts

Population 121,781
Land Area 2,039 km2
Private Dwellings 45,350
Median Family Income $72,294
Distances to Major Market Areas
Kitchener/Waterloo 68 km
Hamilton 78 km
Buffalo 154 km
Toronto 163 km
Detroit 253 km
Ottawa 538 km
Montreal 673 km
Chicago 696 km
New York 851 km
Distances to U.S. Border
Sarnia/Port Huron 154 km
Windsor/Detroit 220 km
Fort Erie/Buffalo 220 km