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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Windsor loses out on auto investments by Jaguar, Volvo

The Windsor Star/Grace Macaluso

Windsor and Essex County has lost two bids for multibillion-dollar auto investments and thousands of new jobs after Volvo Cars and Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. opted to build assembly plants in lower-cost jurisdictions, according to industry sources.

“You need to beat out these jurisdictions in the total sum offering of the (incentive) package,” Sandra Pupatello, CEO of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, said Tuesday. “It’s as simple as that. It’s not complicated.”

Citing non-disclosure agreements, Pupatello would not comment on specific discussions with either of the automakers; nor would she confirm that the discussions even took place. But multiple sources said Pupatello spearheaded efforts to woo the two carmakers last year, and led a visit to Windsor in January by Jaguar representatives, who toured potential sites, including hundreds of acres of land at Windsor’s airport.

Pupatello, who agreed to comment only in general terms about her role in attracting auto investment, said: “There are a handful of auto companies looking at this continent. It’s my job to get in front of them. If there is an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) looking to invest in North America, then I am talking to them.”

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