AUDI MAY SET UP A PLANT IN ONTARIO NEAR THE VW BATTERY SITE
By Piero Facchin
Audi may be considering a new production facility in Canada to complement the battery plant VW and its PowerCo battery unit will build in St. Thomas, Ontario. While Audi itself has not announced a new assembly plant in Canada, Conrad Layson, senior alternative propulsion analyst at AutoForecast Solutions, suggests there are benefits to establishing a new plant near the PowerCo site. For example, he noted that battery cells aren’t easy to move, so it makes sense to reduce the distance between their manufacturing location and where they are installed in vehicles.
The German automaker has remained relatively quiet over the details of its next plant, but in February, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann said the company was considering an American-based plant as it could benefit from tax incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act. Vehicles built in Canada also qualify for tax credits.
Automotive News asked Audi Canada spokesman Cort Nielson if Canada was being considered for the new plant. He said no decision has been made on the location of Audi’s new assembly site.
According to S&P Global Mobility’s managing director of automotive advisory services, Michael Robinet, an Audi plant in Ontario could benefit from its proximity to the PowerCo site. However, it would be far from many Volkswagen and Audi suppliers based in the southern U.S. and Mexico. The availability of skilled labour is in Canada’s favour.