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Stellantis working on 'contingency plans' as Windsor EV battery plant sits in limbo

The future site of an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Windsor, Ont. Stellantis and LG Energy Solution made the announcement alongside government officials on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Rich Garton/CTV Windsor) The future site of an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Windsor, Ont. Stellantis and LG Energy Solution made the announcement alongside government officials on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Rich Garton/CTV Windsor)
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Stellantis may be pulling the plug on its plan to build a massive electric-vehicle battery plant in Windsor.

News of the potential stoppage of the project came after the Toronto Star reported Friday that Stellantis may scrap plans for the Windsor plant if provincial and federal governments did not boost funding. This, after Volkswagen was offered hefty subsidies from the feds — to the tune of $13 billion to build in St. Thomas.

“As of today, the Canadian Government has not delivered on what was agreed to therefore Stellantis and LG Energy Solution will immediately begin implementing their contingency plans,” Stellantis head of communications LouAnn Gosselin said in an email to CTV News.

The automaker has not clarified what those plans will look like.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilken’s office said they were confident the deal would go through.

“We are all hands on deck and are gathering all the information,” an emailed statement said. “We are in communication with all of the parties. We are confident that reasonable minds will get this deal done.”

Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association (APMA) president Flavio Volpe responded to the report online saying he too believes the plant will move ahead and he was “not worried.”

“This Stellantis deal underpins 25,000 job Auto Plants, a 2,500 job EV Battery plant and a 650-person R&D headquarters,” he wrote in a tweet. “It’s a super footprint that’s globally competitive & has 20000 supplier jobs attached. This will get done - I am not worried - and we will continue growing in (Canada).

Unifor local 444 president Dave Cassidy said he could not comment on the matter as he is in discussions with Stellantis and the government about the future of the plant.

CTV News reached out to Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierchek but have not received a response.

The plant is expected to bring more than 3,000 jobs to Windsor-Essex. With spin-off jobs, that number jumps to 10,000.

Construction on the plant at E.C. Row and Banwell Road is well underway.

Hiring at the plant was expected to start next year, with the factory opening in 2024.  

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