The Detroit Three are in much better financial shape than three years ago. General Motors and Ford are now profitable, and Chrysler appears poised to begin making real money soon. That success has lead to plans to spend billions of dollars on North American plants, but Automotive News reports that our friends to the north aren't seeing much of the money.

Ford, GM and Chrysler are reportedly planning to spend at least $13.3 billion in the U.S. in the next four years, but investment in Canadian plants is dropping fast. In fact, there was only $1.2 billion in plant spending in Canada in 2011, down 62 percent versus the average of the last decade. A big reason for the decline in spending is the strength of the Canadian dollar and the relative weakness of the U.S. dollar.

Automakers are also spending more in the U.S. thanks to a new labor agreement with the United Auto Workers, which helps level labor costs compared to foreign rivals. Meanwhile, automakers and the Canadian Auto Workers are now working on a new contract for 2012. The CAW has so far fought many of the cost cuts that the UAW has accepted.

To make matters worse for our northern neighbors, Ford closed the St. Thomas plant that once built the Lincoln Town Car and Ford Crown Victoria, and GM ha reportedly announced plans to build two models in the U.S. that are currently being built in Canada.

We're guessing that while the Canada announcements have been few and far between in the past year or two, that could change if the CAW makes a few concessions at the bargaining table in 2012. If not, auto jobs in Canada could be in real trouble.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      amerifight
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have nothing against Canada however if new plants are going to be build lets put them here in the USA. Ford can do whatever they want considering they are only spending private cash. GM has to focus on US jobs, that's the right thing to do.
        Eric Jacuzzi
        • 3 Years Ago
        @amerifight
        The Canadian government also bought into the bailouts of GM and Chrysler to the tune of many billions of dollars, so it is not fair to look at it from those grounds alone. That being said, I am sure competition from states/provinces/cities for jobs and investment is at an all-time high with tax breaks etc. With the dollar in Canada on par with the US at the moment, I am certain this has hurt Canada's competitiveness for these new plants and investments.
        ShutoSteve
        • 3 Years Ago
        @amerifight
        Yeah let's just give you our freshwater, beef, wood, oil, and milk - and the one thing we ask for in return - jobs - you let us not have. Sounds about right, especially seeing the fact that we help your dead economy by buying your domestic cars in the first place. Next time try to look at the bigger picture.
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think they got this one exactly right. In global competition labor costs are critical.
      mitytitywhitey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hurray for the weak US dollar! Wait, what?
      Dado
      • 3 Years Ago
      agree with one of posts.so to stay on automotive side of the business, Canadians are mostly buying big three vehicles so there should be plants here if big 3 plans to continue selling cars on this market. for average Canadian doesnt really matter who makes and sells cars here as long as jobs are created here. Neither one of those companies are CDN owned so may as well pick ones that build good cars that can sell goodin CDN and be exported world wide. Now CAW is different story and if that was up to me, I would force them to close (out of existance). CDN labour laws are more then enough to protect workers. What CAW is doing is protecting poor workers and forcing OEMs to spend tons of money to unjustified wages and benefits. We have CAW members living in areas where doctors and lawyers are living - how stuid is that? Their wages are way higher working on assembly line then for example mine when I worked for tier 1 supplier as a program engineer. now the rest of stuff listed here (oild, water, wood ...) stands but not something for this discussion
      gtv4rudy
      • 3 Years Ago
      The new 2014 Chevy Impala will be built in Oshawa, Canada.
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