APMA President reflects back on 2022 for the automotive industry

The Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association had a rough start to the beginning of 2022 due to the Ambassador Bridge blockade, but saw many successes through the year as well. 

Canadian-based automotive manufacturers were able to take a deep breath after a revision to a previous U.S. bill when it was revealed that that there would be no more ‘Buy American’ tax credits for electric vehicles.

The year also saw the start to ‘Project Arrow’, a vehicle prototype that was built from combining the efforts of 58 Canadian industry partners. The vehicle will be fully revealed in the new year in Las Vegas. 

Speaking on AM800’s The Shift, Flavio Volpe, President of Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, says he’s hoping for a great year for the automotive industry in 2023. 

He says the automotive industry was heavily impacted by the blockade, and that not much was being done until his company stepped up. 

“Costing us $400-million in goods travel per day, $100-million of which were made by companies I represent, and nobody was doing anything. We decided to go out and said ‘everyday that we wait for somebody else to do something, was another $100-million in lost production’. But, I don’t think until we put our name to the paper and decided, look, let me put my chin up there as a target, nothing was moving.”

He says ‘Project Arrow’ is important to be able to feature Canadian technology in vehicles. 

“Why don’t we make our own car from bumper-to-bumper and see how much of that can be Canadian? I think 100 per cent of it could be Canadian, the design, the engineering. So, we got everything but the screens, the actual screens, it turns out no one makes them in Canada. We’ve got 58 technologies on there, including about one third of that from the region down there in Windsor.”

He says the previous bill, called ‘Build Back Better’, needed to be changed as 80 per cent of vehicles made in Canada get sold to the United States.

“We’re all included, and that was really important because through this year, all those incredible investments including that LG and Stellantis plant down in Windsor, as well as the Stellantis 600 engineer commitment for EV technology down there, wouldn’t have happened if we couldn’t get that legislation changed to include Canadian cars.”

Volpe says the year of 2022 was an incredible year for the automotive sector. 

He says there was a wide range of dynamics this year, from tension at the beginning to many opportunities throughout the rest. 


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