‘Is the Canadian auto industry ready for coming transformative changes?’, autotech symposium asks
Toronto, Nov. 6, 2017 – Is the Canadian auto industry ready for the pending wave of transformative change, what is that change and are companies, academia, and the government already preparing or participating in what is to come? Those were several of the questions debated at the Future of Mobility – Automotive Tech Symposium held at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, on Nov. 1, 2017.
As one panelist noted, ‘we believe more change is coming in the next five years than has taken place over the past 50 years’. Hosted by Trinity Tech and the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), the symposium brought together automotive manufacturers, suppliers, tech partners, policy-decision makers, academia, and investors to discuss how Canada can leverage the mobility revolution taking place in the automotive industry.
“Collectively, we need to leverage the change taking place to maintain our relevance and competitiveness in the market,” says Dunstan Peter, President, and CEO of Trinity Tech Inc. “This symposium brought together innovators who can help everyone to understand the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead. Traditional auto plays must make strategic moves to get ahead of the disruption.”
The dialogue throughout the day was invigorating and a number of key questions were debated and analyzed:
- Does China see this transformative change as an opportunity to leapfrog ahead in the automotive industry?
- Will cars be manufactured in a fully automated plant with little to no human involvement in the assembly? What are the implications?
- How far along are autonomous vehicles? How do they fit in with smart cities?
- Is today’s workforce able to meet the need of the coming auto technology transformation?
- How is artificial intelligence changing the industry and where do Canadian companies fit into that?
- What are some countries doing to move away from fossil fuel powered cars?
- Most people own a car today but will they end up renting the right to use them in the future?
One executive noted the auto industry is ripe for disruption. Another said that autonomous and electric vehicles are altering the public perception of the industry. One industry executive wondered if tier two and three companies are thinking about the change that is coming.
Cassandra Dorrington, President of CAMSC, was the master of ceremonies and there was a wide range of speakers from government, industry, academia at the one-day symposium, including the Hon. Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade, Government of Ontario; Jeremy Depow, VP Policy & Research, Information, Communication and Technology Council (ICTC); John Jullens, Partner, Strategy&, PWC’s strategy consulting group; Brian Kobus, Director, OMERS Ventures; Dr. Saeid Habibi, Professor and former Chair of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University and NSERC/Ford Canada Industrial Research Chair in Hybrid/Electric Vehicle; Ben Hoffman, CEO, Movimento; Keith Loo, Chief Revenue Officer, CTO Boost.
“We feel strongly that by working together, collectively we can go further,” says Peter. “Our intent was to start a dialogue within the industry that can continue in greater depth next year and, from what we can see, that dialogue has started.”
Plans already are underway for next year’s symposium, which is likely to last over two days and include an exhibition trade show component.
CAMSC (Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council) is a non-profit organization created in 2004 to advance the economic strength of aboriginal and visible minority communities through business development and employment. CAMSC’s mission is to facilitate business relationships with Canadian corporations and supplier organizations owned by Aboriginals and minorities. Since its inception in 2004, corporate members have spent more than $3-billion with CAMSC certified Aboriginal and minority-owned businesses. Visit www.camsc.ca.
About Trinity Tech Inc.
Trinity Tech Inc. is a leading automotive quality assurance provider in the software, electronics, electrical and light manufacturing space. Trinity Tech services more than 235 automotive companies across North America, including Fortune 500 companies, from its Canadian, U.S., and Mexican offices. It employs more than 150 people in six offices and five production facilities across North America.
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HMB Communications Group for Trinity Tech Inc.