Ontario and Michigan Partner for Auto Industry Growth and Innovation

Ontario Auto Industry

The Province of Ontario and the State of Michigan are working together to drive growth and increase the competitiveness of the Great Lakes auto industry.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder were in Traverse City, Michigan, today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will promote auto industry innovation and regional competitiveness.

“Ontario is already a leader in automotive parts and assembly. Increasingly, we are leading in automotive innovation as well, particularly in the fields of information technology and clean technology. But we can’t take our success for granted. North America’s highly competitive auto sector calls on us to work more closely with our friends and industry partners in Michigan. By combining our collective strengths through this MOU, we will boost regional competitiveness and create new opportunities for investment, jobs and growth on both sides of the border.” — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Ontario and Michigan are two of the leading automotive jurisdictions in North America, together accounting for more than 26 percent of vehicle production in the region.

North America’s auto industry is comprised of regional clusters in the Great Lakes, southeastern U.S. and Mexico. As the leaders of the Great Lakes region, Ontario and Michigan benefit from a shared and integrated supply chain, with parts and completed vehicles moving back and forth across the border.

The new MOU between Ontario and Michigan will create a working group to explore opportunities for increased collaboration that enhance the competitiveness of both jurisdictions. Potential focus areas include:

  • Technology advancement, including connected cars, autonomous vehicles, lightweight materials and alternative fuels
  • Increased supply chain integration and technology transfer through business-to-business partnerships
  • Best practices in industry strategy, regulatory and policy approaches, and workforce skills development.

“The people of Michigan and Ontario have a longstanding partnership in many areas. Collaborating to improve the auto sector is a great use of resources that will lead to continued growth and job creation in both economies. Sharing best practices and integrating our supply chains will advance Michigan’s and Ontario’s positions as leaders in the auto industry. This partnership will improve Michigan’s work on skilled trades and workforce development efforts, as well as promote our focus on autonomous vehicles and mobility technologies throughout North America.”  — Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan


  • In 2015, two-way goods trade between Ontario and Michigan totalled $74 billion.
  • In 2015, more than 65 percent of Ontario’s total global trade was conducted with the U.S. — two-way merchandise trade totalled more than $340 billion.
  • Ontario is a major market for the U.S. as well — more than 60 per cent of the merchandise exports from the U.S. to Canada last year were destined for Ontario.
  • According to a 2015 BMO report, one-third of the economic activity in the U.S. and Canada is generated in the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence region, which includes eight states and two provinces. In 2015, the region’s economic output was US$5.8 trillion.
  • Michigan’s automotive employment has increased by more than 50 percent since 2009 (more than 54,000 jobs created).