Linamar Corp CEO Linda Hasenfratz
In general terms, Oshawa, Ontario might be best known for being one of the Toronto area's many bedroom communities, but it's well-known in the auto industry for being a manufacturing hub for General Motors' North American operations.
But the city has been on the receiving end of bad news from GM in recent years as the company has reorganized some of its manufacturing activities. That has prompted city officials and at least one local automotive supplier to put feelers out into the auto industry to find ways to sustain one of its most prominent sources of employment.
The Oshawa Express newspaper is reporting the city's council has responded to the company's announcement to bring autonomous car development to the city with scepticism, saying it doesn't address the fact that GM hasn't committed to continuing to build cars in the city beyond the end of this year. The city's proposed solution is for GM to bring electric car production to Oshawa.
And that proposal dovetails nicely with another piece of potential future good news: industry publication Automotive News is reporting that a Toronto area-based auto supplier called Linamar Corporation is in talks with Apple and Google to produce components for those companies' autonomous vehicle efforts. Linamar is currently working on new electric vehicle drivetrain technology.
So important is GM's manufacturing in Oshawa that the federal government has appealed to the company to maintain its presence there.