Ontario needs to talk up auto industry, says Duguid

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DETROIT — Ontario is seeking a partnership with Michigan to promote the region’s auto industry, says provincial Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid.

“We’re going to up our game in terms of marketing our auto cluster,” Duguid said Tuesday as he toured the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“We’re looking to work closer with Michigan on possible partnerships with respect to that, and we’re going to be much more aggressive when it comes to promoting Ontario as the place to be to do auto building and for the auto supply chain.”

‘Coolest van ever built’

Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid lavished praised Tuesday on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

“We’re really excited about the buzz the Pacifica has received at the Detroit auto show,” Duguid said. “This is two years in a row that a Canadian-made car is the buzz of the show. Last year, it was the Ford GT. Today, it’s a van — the Pacifica, probably the coolest van ever built.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ $2-billion investment in the minivan program and the Windsor Assembly Plant “means sustaining thousands of jobs in the Windsor area; it’s great for Ontario and it’s great for our auto sector.

“It’s one of the coolest vans ever produced, and the van market is a very niche, family-oriented market now. What this does is it makes the van cool and it makes it a vehicle anybody would want. It’s very practical yet it’s great to drive. Look behind me, it’s a really hot-looking vehicle.”

Duguid and his federal counterpart, Navdeep Bains, were in Detroit for a series of meetings with Canadian and global automotive executives.

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