Global Politics

US automakers struggle in Canada too

Just across the river from Detroit sits Windsor, Ontario, Canada's car capitol. The serious problems that plague the Big Three auto makers in the U.S. have seeped across to Canada too. Already some of the automakers have closed factories and GM is shutting down its factory in just over a year. Windsor has fallen on hard times and it now has the highest unemployment rate of any city in Canada. It's no surprise that some of the loudest calls for help for the auto industry are coming from Windsor. The mayor of Windsor says the auto industry is indispensible and should receive public funds. 85% of cars made in Canada are sold in the U.S., and that heavy dependence on the American market has many in the Canadian auto industry calling for equal assistance for what the U.S. companies might receive. This Canadian auto maker representative says the Canadian government has failed to perceive how serious this issue is. The Canadian government is considering some form of assistance but not everyone is lining up for it. In Canada, Toyota and Honda are doing very well these days and they actually experienced increases in sales this past month. This professor says the Japanese companies are doing better in part because of sheer luck and mainly has to do with the turn in the market to smaller vehicles, which the Japanese car companies specialize more in. and that bright spot in Canada's auto sector has helped some of the thousands of Canadians affected by the slowdowns in Detroit.

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