General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced last Friday that it plans to build a new research and development facility in Markham, one part of GM’s ambition to expand its engineering and software development core with a focus on new automotive systems and technologies for the future.
By now, Markham is already home to Honda Canada’s headquarters as well as MOBIS, a parts and logistics distribution facility for Hyundai and Kai.
“We are very proud of Markham’s status as Canada’s high-tech capital and thrilled that the new General Motors’ R&D center is coming to Markham,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti said. "With over 1,100 high-tech and life sciences companies, our city is an ideal location for this new center for information technology and automotive innovation.”
With GM coming on board, an additional 700 engineering jobs will added in the new Markham facility (about 300 to be in the existing Oshawa tech center).
“General Motors’ announcement is very welcome, and not surprising – more and more high-tech firms are selecting York Region for their operations,” York Region chairperson and CEO Wayne Emmerson said. “Our extensive investments in modern infrastructure, rapid transit, complete communities and economic development make us an extremely attractive location for leading-edge technology firms.”
Although the exact location and investment amount into Markham’s software development center have yet to be announced, what has been confirmed is that the new engineering work will focus on autonomous vehicle software, active safety technology and infotainment and connected mobility systems.
“We selected Canada for this expansion because of its clear capacity for innovation, proven talent and strong ecosystem of great universities, startups and innovative suppliers,” Mark Reuss, GM global product development executive vice-president, said, “with this expansion, GM Canada will play an important role in our evolution toward vehicles that are connected, autonomous, shared and electric.”