Canada names former Toyota exec as new car czar

The governments of the Canada and the province of Ontario have jointly named a
new car czar to advise them on how to attract more business from the automotive industry.
Automotive News reports that the new role will fall to Ray Tanguay (pictured above at center), an Ontario native who used to head
Toyota’s Canadian operations and currently chairs the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council.

In announcing the appointment, the Canadian federal minister of industry and the Ontario provincial economic minister highlighted the roles played by their governments in bailing out
General Motors and
Chrysler during the financial crisis, and their country’s place in the North American automotive industry.

The announcement was made against the backdrop of a shifting industry, however, which has been growing in the southern United States and in Mexico, but has been shrinking by contrast in Canada. With the Canadian dollar and labor costs both rising, automakers have been closing and downsizing their plants in the country. AN points out that the only new plant built in Canada in the past two decades was the Toyota facility in Woodstock, Ontario – which Tanguay spearheaded.

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