Windsor-Essex is North America's Manufacturing Powerhouse and is a well-known leader and innovator in Advanced Manufacturing. Parts suppliers and mold makers across Windsor-Essex are at the forefront when it comes to using innovative technology to remain competitive in an ever-changing global market place.
The area is home to the largest machine, tool, die and mold cluster in North America. In fact, four of the top 10 mold makers in this hemisphere are in Windsor-Essex.
The region also boasts one of the largest automation sectors in Canada. There are several area companies specializing in light weighting technologies and most of the auto industry's original equipment manufacturers engineering and design offices are located within one hour's drive of Windsor-Essex. Many area businesses have developed their own cutting-edge research and development programs all designed to help them reach out to customers across the globe.
Superior technology developed through advanced and experimental research has led to the emergence of a highly-specialized network of suppliers. Hundreds of manufacturers supply tool and die, mold making, machining, automation transfer equipment, machine building, deep draw metal stamping, micro-electronics and laser guided robotics systems to meet the demands of leading manufacturers worldwide. At the heart of this dynamic industry is a highly sophisticated, highly-skilled workforce of designers, engineers and technicians assuring quality, productivity, innovation and profitability.
Considered pioneers and leading edge, our companies have gained international recognition in the following:
Key Sectors and Expertise
- Automotive, Aerospace, Food Processing, Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical and Medical Devices.
- Light-weight materials, clean diesel, robotic-intensive automation, advanced power train, paint and coatings, noise vibration, 3D printing design of assembly/production lines.
- Recently, the area's activity in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) segment has expanded into Aerospace Industry. This expansion is supported by the University of Windsor's development of an Aerospace Engineering stream and St. Clair College training. Manufacturing for key components for the aerospace industry is one example of the diverse capabilities available in our Region.
- 1000+ manufacturers in the region
- $3.5B annual GDP in manufacturing, 30% of region’s total
- 90+ auto and parts manufacturers including 2 OEMs
- 250 machine, tool, die and mold manufacturers
Supply Chain Access to Market
- HQ’s for 6 auto OEMs located within 260 km (160 miles)
- Canadian HQ for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)
- One mile from Metro Detroit with a population of 3.8 million people
- Busiest commercial border crossing in North America with 1/3 of all Canada-U.S. trade
- Integrated supply chain with all components: design, development, manufacturing, assembly, logistics
- Highway connections to the U.S. interstate system, deep-water port, rail system integrated with U.S. system via rail tunnel, and international airport
Windsor-Essex has a rich history in the development and production of the automobile for over a hundred years. The region is now looking towards the future trends of the automotive industry including the development and production of connected and autonomous vehicles. This will require the creation of new technologies and require the collaboration of private industry, government and universities to deliver and adopt these future systems of mobility. Windsor-Essex is strategically located near the decision making and technology center of the global automotive industry and has the talent and research and development assets to contribute to this mobility revolution.
- Within 257 km (160 miles) of 6 Automotive OEM Headquarters and cluster of Automotive R&D Centres
- Access to Michigan’s Autonomous Vehicle testing sites including the 135-hectare (335 acre) American Center for Mobility (ACM) test site at Willow Run in Ypsilanti Township and the 13-hectare (32 acre) test site with full scale streets for driverless vehicles in Ann Arbor
- The Province of Ontario is the first province in Canada to allow for the testing of automated vehicles on Ontario roads
FCA/ Waymo Pacifica Hybrid Minivan
Fiat Chrysler has delivered one hundred Pacifica Hybrid Minivans (Built in Windsor-Essex) to Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project. These hundred Pacifica Hybrid Minivans were uniquely built and outfitted with Waymo’s technology including a purpose-built compute and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems. They will be deployed into Waymo’s fleet in early 2017.
University of Windsor
The University of Windsor is a renowned automotive engineering school with 1,719 undergraduate and 752 graduate and PhD students enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering. The University of Windsor works collaboratively with industry including the University of Windsor and FCA’s $500 Million Automotive R&D Centre.
Many of the University of Windsor’s professors and researchers are now focused on leading research on connected and autonomous vehicle technology that will support industry and society’s adoption of driverless vehicles.
University of Windsor’s Autonomous Vehicle Research Pillars and Researchers
Strategic Research Opportunities at the University of Windsor
- V2V for autonomous vehicles
- IoT for vehicles (Internet of Vehicles)
- Sensor communication, Sensor fusion
- Simulation/ Emulation/ Test-beds
- Autonomous mobile robots and systems
Becoming a North American leader in low-carbon and zero-emission transportation
In 2016, the Province of Ontario introduced the Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020 with a strong focus of reducing transportation produced emissions. Ontario has a provincewide electric and hydrogen passenger vehicle sales target of five per cent in 2020 and will be reviewed and increased every five years thereafter. Windsor-Essex is not only adopting the electric vehicle infrastructure to support these targets but Fiat-Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant is manufacturing hybrid Pacifica Minivans to meet the demand.
Taken at the 2017 Toronto International Auto Show.
Global Leaders Conduct EV R&D in Windsor-Essex
- FCA Canada Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC)
- Ford Powertrain Engineering and Research and Development Centre
Centre for Hybrid Automotive Research and Green Energy (CHARGE) Lab – University of Windsor
CHARGE Labs (Centre for Hybrid Automotive Research and Green Energy), at the University of Windsor under the Canada Research Chair Program in Electrified Transportation Systems advances knowledge, technology and expertise through world-class transformative and disruptive research and innovation in the area of electric vehicle science and engineering.
Windsor-Essex and Ontario are fueling consumer demand
- Up to $14,000 per vehicle in purchase rebates
- $1,000 toward the purchase and installation of a charging station
- 400 EV charging stations and 500 more on the way
EV Society Windsor-Essex
EV Society Windsor-Essex is an active community of close to 150 owners of plug-in vehicles throughout Windsor, Essex County, and Chatham-Kent. They run member meet-ups and public EV awareness events throughout the year and look to support local businesses and municipalities in encouraging EV charging infrastructure. If you are an EV owner in the area, they invite you to join them in becoming part of their growing community!