FCA Canada confirms production of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan in Windsor today with C$85.8 million (roughly $66 million U.S.) in funding from the Ontario government.
The funding for the first plug-in hybrid electric minivan was to be announced today at a special 20th anniversary event at the University of Windsor/FCA Research and Development Center by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Some of the money will be used for research at FCA’s R&D center in Windsor, called the Automotive Research and Development Centre.
FCA will add 1,200 jobs to the existing 4,000 at the Windsor Assembly Plant and upgrade the plant to make the hybrid.
“It’s no surprise that Fiat Chrysler chose Ontario for the production of its first-ever minivans using plug-in hybrid technology,” said Wynne. “Ontario is a global leader in the auto sector, with competitive business costs, a highly skilled workforce and a commitment to sustainable innovation. And through our Climate Change Action Plan, we are supporting the transition to electric and hybrid vehicles. We will continue to work with the auto industry, including our partners in Detroit, to support and encourage investment, employment and innovation in the industry.”
Reid Bigland, President of FCA Canada, said the automaker has invested more than $2 billion in Canada in the past 18 months.
FCA also has a deal to provide Google with 100 Pacifica hybrids to advance work on autonomous vehicles and Ontario is the first Canadian province to allow on-road testing of automated vehicles.
The minivan is the automaker’s first plug-in vehicle as it plays catch up with the rest of the industry.