Canada’s Automotive Production Falls To Lowest Level Since 1967

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says Canada produced just over 1.1 million vehicles last year, marking the lowest level of production since 1967.

The low production numbers, down from 1.4 million in 2020 and close to two million vehicles in 2019, came as the automotive sector globally was hit by a shortage of semiconductors and microchips caused by pandemic-related production issues and a surge in demand for consumer electronics.

Canadian production was hit especially hard as automakers prioritized chips for their more profitable models such as pick-up trucks and SUVs, pushing down Canada's share of production to under 9%.

Canada's share of North American production has been on the decline for years, from 17% in 2009 to 14.1% in 2014 to around 10% before the pandemic.

DesRosiers said Toyota led production among the five big automakers in Canada with about 427,000 units produced, while at the other end of the spectrum GM produced about 36,500 vehicles within Canada.

GM, however, did restart production in November at the Oshawa assembly plant it had closed in 2019, and just this week announced it had added a second shift to the plant that now produces the Chevy Silverado truck.

GM also plans to revamp its Ingersoll, Ontario operation this year to produce electric delivery vehicles.