Important Facts

Canada’s Auto Industry: Driving jobs, investment, and innovation

Facts about the automotive industry in Canada:


  • Auto manufacturing regularly contributes over $20 billion to Canadian GDP.
  • Nationally, auto and parts production accounts for about 16.8% of ‎manufacturing sales.
  • In Ontario, transportation equipment manufacturing is 20.2% of GDP.
  • Direct industry employment in Canada accounts for 130,000.  The majority of these jobs – at least 124,000 – are located in Ontario.  Both direct and indirect jobs are estimated at 500,000 jobs across Canada.
  • Vehicles are the top Canadian export valued at $64.6 billion in 2016 of which 95% was exported to the U.S.


  • Auto is the lead Ontario trade export at 28.10% of all exports in 2015.
  • NAFTA trade totaled $1.1 trillion in 2015, and about 20%, or $230 billion of that was automotive-related.  Of that, vehicles comprised 45% and parts was 55%.
  • Given the highly integrated nature of the auto industry, parts and components may cross the NAFTA countries’ borders as many as 8 times before being installed in a final assembly plant in one of the 3 NAFTA partner countries (Wilson C.E., 2011).
  • The Detroit-Windsor crossing represents the highest number of loaded truck container crossings, 1.6 million annually, along the Canada/U.S. border.  A significant percentage of these would be auto manufacturing related.


  • Estimates suggest that for every one assembly job, nine others in the economy are created in upstream and downstream activities (Stanford, 2014).
  • Over 90 percent of automotive manufacturing jobs are fulltime high paying jobs with hourly wages that exceed provincial and national averages.


  • Canada is the 10th leading vehicle producer in the world.
  • CVMA member companies annually produce approximately 60% of all vehicles assembled in Canada.
  • In 2016, CVMA member companies produced over 1.3 million vehicles in Canada.
  • Canada contributes 13% of all vehicles produced in North America.
  • Canada is dependent on exporting outside of its own borders, with domestic consumption of just 12% of the vehicles it manufactures within its borders.

Canadian Vehicle Fleet

  • Total Vehicle Registrations (vehicles under 4,500 kg) = 22,067,778.