Automotive

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Tillsonburg, Canada: A Hub for the Automotive-Assembly Industry

30 Apr, 2006

By: Linda Dobel

The town of Tillisonburg, Canada, population 100,000, is located just south of Ontario’s main corridor for transportation – Highway 401, with additional connections to Highways 403 and 402. It is a town situated in Oxford County and its central location affords businesses the advantage of access to major markets in the United States as well as Canada. The town prides itself as “The Heartland of the Automotive Assembly Industry,” and with good reason. It is a close neighbor (within 40 to 60 minutes’ drive) to the following well-known and respected auto-parts manufacturing companies:

  • CAMI Automotive (a GM/Suzuki joint venture), located in Ingersoll,

  • The Ford Motor Company’s Talbotville plant,

  • Stirling Truck in St. Thomas,

  • Toyota, situated in Cambridge, Ontario,

  • A second, new Toyota plant scheduled to begin operations in 2008 with a Woodbridge location, and,

  • The new Marwood Metal Fabrication Limited plant in Brownsville, Ontario

  • Other long-standing firms located directly in Tillsonburg include:

  • TRW Automotive

  • Johnson Controls, Inc.,

  • Fleetwood Metal Industries,

  • DDM Plastics Inc.,

  • Guardian Industries Canada Corporation,

  • TDS Automotive,

  • Rieter Automotive Systems.

Additional industries found in Tillsonburg include machine- and wood-product manufacturers, food processors and manufacturers of agricultural equipment.

Two interesting new manufacturers that have chosen Tillsonburg as home within the last year are:

·         A commercial insulation company named Ottawa Fibre Inc., which is located on a 27-acre site in the town’s Van Norman Industrial Park.

·         CSEA Inc., which stands for Canadian Sweet Potato Ethanol Alliance, has announced it will be creating an eco energy complex with a location on a 150-acre site in the town’s Forest Hill Industrial Park. It’s estimated the company will invest $140 M in this project and will use 10,000 acres of sandy land that had previously been used to grow tobacco. The company will grow millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes, rye and wheat on this space to produce the ethanol products.

Despite the “heavyweight” of these leading companies, Tillsonburg still welcomes others to join in the success. The town hosts approximately 200 acres of service and zoned industrial sites, with 1 to 100 parcels, some with rail access, which companies with desires to relocate, expand or launch may want to consider for their automotive parts or other manufacturing ventures. Currently, sites that are fully serviced and zoned industrial are priced at $26,500 per acre.

Who Does the Work?
In addition to its prime location, the town of Tillsonburg believes strongly that a company is only as good as its workforce and knows the workforce of 46,000 in Tillsonburg is a major reason companies find this location so attractive. The workforce in Tillsonburg is described as abundant in skilled and semi-skilled individuals who have a strong rural work ethic, which is largely non-unionized (only 10 percent of its existing industries are unionized). These individuals and their families appear to thrive in the environment in which they live in Tillsonburg. After all, the town offers many amenities to its family-oriented community. These include an exceptional Recreational Complex that boasts country-club-like features such as two ice pads, an indoor pool, fitness rooms, a senior center, community hall, outdoor tennis, lighted baseball diamonds and outdoor splash pads. A nearby beach and two malls round out the picture. A bonus is the availability and variety of affordable housing for Tillsonburg citizens from young families to seniors. Residents appreciate the convenience of two regional community colleges and three universities that can be accessed by car within 60 minutes as well as the fact that there is a municipal airport and two international airports that are located within a one-hour drive.

The Bottom Line
In many cases, the average annual earnings of employees is above the average Canadian wage level (please see Table 1). And the business outlook in the Province of Ontario is mainly positive, as witnessed in Table 2. More than half of the population of the town of Tillsonburg is currently employed, with the majority of them dedicated to manufacturing (please see Table 3).

In the final analysis, Tillisonburg is primed for new business and worth a look if your plans for the future include expansion or establishment.

 

Table 1
Average earnings of the population 15 years and over by highest level of schooling

 
2001
 
Canada
Ontario
 
In Dollars:
All levels
31,757
35,185
Less than high school graduation certificate
21,230
22,691

High school graduation certificate and/or some postsecondary

25,477
27,606
Trades certificate or diploma
32,743
36,843
College certificate or diploma
32,736
36,309
University certificate, diploma or degree
48,648
53,525

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population.
Last modified: 2004-09-01.

 

 

Table 2
Business condition survey of the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted (quarterly)
(Ontario)

 
1st quarter 2005
2nd quarter 2005
3rd quarter 2005
4th quarter 2005
1st quarter 2006
 
seasonally adjusted
 
%
Ontario
Production Prospects
Higher
6
11
17
13
9
About the same
85
72
59
76
83
Lower
9
17
23
10
8
Orders Received
Rising
10
16
11
11
10
About right
78
56
63
81
77
Declining
12
29
25
8
13
Employment Prospects
Increasing
13
15
9
9
9
Little change
72
69
78
77
75
Decreasing
16
15
12
14
16

Note: The Business condition survey provides an advance indication of current trends for the manufacturing sector of the Canadian economy.
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM
Last modified: 2006-01-27.

 
 
Table 3
Tillsonburg, Town
Ontario
Labor Force Indicators
Total
Male
Female
Total
Male
Female
Participation Rate
58.8
66.9
51.6
67.3
73.4
61.5
Employment Rate
55.3
62.9
48.4
63.2
69.1
57.6
Unemployment Rate
6.1
5.9
6.1
6.1
5.8
6.5
 
 
Industry
Tillsonburg, Town
Ontario
 
 
Total
Male
Female
Total
Male
Female
Total Experienced Labor Force
6,680
3,605
3,075
5,992,765
3,173,280
2,819,490
Agriculture & Other Resource-Based Industries
275
150
125
191,020
135,925
55,090
Manufacturing & Construction Industries
2,350
1,630
720
1,316,580
979,715
336,870
Wholesale & Retail Trade
1,130
545
585
950,730
484,505
466,230
Finance & Real Estate
295
135
160
401,445
171,350
230,095
Health & Education
825
200
625
902,990
212,830
690,165
Business Services
815
500
315
1,145,910
674,075
471,835
Other Services
1,000
450
545
 
 
 
 
 

 

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