The federal Liberals brought a self-professed "team" approach to the campaign trail on Friday as deputy leader Michael Ignatieff, and not Stéphane Dion, was dispatched to make overtures to the struggling auto sector.

Ignatieff went to Whitby, Ont., just east of Toronto, to promise support for hybrid car operations at GM and announced an $80-million commitment to retool the Ford engine plant in Windsor, Ont.

Questions quickly turned to why Ignatieff and not the party leader made the announcement. Ignatieff said that unlike the Conservatives, his party has a "strong team" with more than one voice.

He also stressed that Dion is the undisputed leader of the Liberals, adding that anyone who knows Dion understands he "doesn't get overshadowed by anyone."

The auto-sector announcement came in the riding currently held by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, whom Ignatieff said has dismissed the plight of the region's auto workers during the Tories' two years in office.