In the whimsical world of Canadian economics, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland had a chinwag on Thursday with the honchos from Honda Motor. They discussed the possibility of parking a hefty electric vehicle plant in Canada, with a price tag that’s almost as many zeros as a teenager’s phone password – we’re talking a nearly 2-trillion-yen ($13.7 billion) venture!
Freeland, spilling the beans in Toronto, said,
“I had a tete-a-tete with Honda. They’ve been tossing their financial hats into the Canadian ring for a while.” She added that it wasn’t just her – other Canadian bigwigs had been hobnobbing with the Japanese car gurus too.
“Our friendship with Honda? It’s like maple syrup on pancakes – super important, and the camaraderie just keeps flowing,” quipped Freeland, being coy about when these pow-wows took place.
But wait, there’s more! It wasn’t just a one-off. Honda and various Canadian departments have been having more meetings than there are hockey pucks in Canada.
On Sunday, Japan’s Nikkei news squad reported that Honda’s got their eyes on several spots for this mega-plant, with a wink at a spot next to their existing car factory in Alliston, Ontario. The big decision is set to drop by the end of 2024, and they want to start rolling out EVs faster than a moose in a meadow, targeting as early as 2028.
In a bid to keep Ontario’s manufacturing mojo, Canada has been sweet-talking everyone in the EV biz, from nuts and bolts to the whole enchilada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, playing the financial Cupid last year, said Canada’s looking for more “pinpoint” investments, post handing over chunky subsidies to Volkswagen and Stellantis-LG Energy Solution for their battery behemoths.
Honda, not wanting to be the last car at the green traffic light, announced on Tuesday their plan to join the EV party starting 2026. This comes after they teamed up with LG Energy Solution in 2022 for a $4.4 billion JV battery plant in Ohio. Looks like Honda’s finally putting their EV pedal to the metal!
And for those keeping score at home, the current exchange rate is 1 dollar for 145.9100 yen – just in case you’re planning your next big yen-denominated purchase.
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