Windsor Ford plant top contender for new engine product
New engine products could be coming to Ford of Canada facilities in Windsor.
Unifor Local 200 President, Chris Taylor, confirms that Ford is considering investing in either a new plant or an expansion of either the Essex Engine Plant or the Windsor Engine Plant.
The talks with Ford are about the landing the 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre engines for the Ford Fiesta.
"At this point I can tell you that we've had several people through from Ford in our Essex Engine plant in particular…and Essex Engine plant has been rated one of the top engine plants in global for Ford," said Taylor. "So it's really put a good spotlight on our workforce and our plants in particular."
Taylor said back in 2012 the union negotiated a letter of agreement stating that if Ford produced a new engine product the Windsor facilities would get first opportunity to manufacture it, provided a number of criteria are met.
"What I can say at this time is if there is possibility for product...we will be speaking to our members on requirements to change our contracts to make us more competitive," said Taylor.
Taylor would not speculate on how many new jobs this might bring to Windsor.
He said getting the engine products would also hinge on provincial and federal incentives.
"We can't comment on the speculation in today's reports," said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. "That said, our government has taken action to make Ontario an attractive place for auto companies to invest, grow and create jobs."
Meanwhile, Jake Enwright, Press Secretary to James Moore, the federal Minister of Industry, said the Canadian government is hopeful the policies and reputation as a world-leading auto maker will persuade Ford and others companies to expand here.