Chrysler CEO mounts defence of taxpayer support for expansion
Chrysler plans largest Canadian auto investment in 5 years
CEO Sergio Marchionne has mounted a defence of Chrysler’s requests for government incentives to invest in Canada, saying his company is planning a larger investment than all other automotive companies in the last five years.
The Chrysler CEO wrote an opinion piece for the Globe and Mail on Wednesday, deriding “self-proclaimed experts who have sought to demonize Chrysler’s contemplated investment.”
“The shame in all of this is the fact that virtually all of the automotive companies who invested more than $40 billion in Mexico and the United States over the past five years never even bothered to ask Canada if it was interested in helping to bring these investments and jobs to Canada,” he wrote.
Chrysler wants to upgrade and retool plants in Windsor and Brampton, Ont., but has refused to say how much money it would invest or what kind of incentives it expects from government.
- Sergio Marchionne says no deal yet on Chrysler expansion
However, in an appearance at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto last week, Marchionne said contributions from the federal and Ontario government would be necessary to secure a Chrysler expansion in Canada.
In his piece in the Globe, Marchionne said Chrysler’s proposed investment in Canada would be larger than all investments by the automotive industry in Canada in the past five years, including General Motors, Ford and Toyota.
He pointed out that those companies received taxable, repayable loans from the federal government and grants from the provincial government before their investments.
“To succeed in a global automotive business, Chrysler must ensure it is globally competitive and for Canada to succeed, it too must ensure it is a globally competitive jurisdiction in attracting and retaining businesses,” Marchionne said.
He pointed to support being offered for auto manufacturing investment by countries around the globe.
Chrysler built 570,000 vehicles in Canada in 2013, directly employs more than 10,000 people and buys more than $3.2 billion worth of goods from Canadian suppliers, Marchionne said.
Chrysler has demonstrated its long-term commitment to Canada, he added, as one of only five companies to make cars here. Marchionne said the company is “forever grateful” for the loans it received during its 2009 restructuring, but pointed out they were repaid ahead of schedule.
Marchionne said Chrysler remains “optimistic” that its investment will move forward and secure thousands of jobs in Canada.
While in Toronto last week, Marchionne said there was no deal yet with Ottawa or Ontario on the Chrysler investment,