Windsor's mayor says recent announcements show city is on the rise

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After hyping the announcement up for a few weeks, Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens was elated to officially hear that Stellantis was investing $3.6 billion towards modernizing the assembly plant and building two new research and development centres.

The provincial government is supporting the investments with up to $513 million in funding, while the federal government is investing $529 million.

Dilkens says the battery plant announcement was incredible enough in its own right, but when layered with Monday's announcement you realize this will have an impact on the region for generations to come.

"This is something that will pay dividends for decades, and decades, and decades. I said before that the move to the electrification of vehicles is the same as it was from horseless carriages to the internal combustion engine, I doubled down on that comment, and you can see the magnitude of the investments that are being made in the auto sector including right here in Windsor."

He says this should give residents a lot of solace that people at the municipal, provincial and federal levels are working to bring opportunity to Windsor.

"As we transition to the new world of electric vehicles, which is electrification, it's autonomous, it's battery and chemistry production," he continued. "There's all sorts of things going on here and it's going to require a lot of smart people to develop and do the R&D, and then it's going to take a lot of people with skilled labour to get out there and actually build these vehicles."

Dilkens says while they're obviously very happy with the recent announcements, they're going to keep working to continue carrying out the key points laid out in Windsor Works.

"One of the biggest pillars in Windsor Works was to make sure we can get an electric vehicle battery factory, check mark on that. The R&D side and the connections with the University and College were paramount in Windsor Works, partial check mark on that. There's still more to do to bring those organizations together and make sure that everyone is rowing in the same direction," Dilkens said.

Stellantis officials said at the announcement that 650 jobs will be created through the two R&D centres coming to Windsor, while official job numbers as a result of the retooling at the assembly plant when it's complete were not given.