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Autoshift 2002 — Action Strategies for the Automotive Components Industry in the 21st Century

The Institute for Enterprise Education in partnership with the Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association of Ontario (APMA), has completed a study on Human Resource and Employment Strategies in the Automotive Sector in Ontario.

The automotive sector is Canada’s largest manufacturing sector. One-in-six jobs in Ontario and one-in-seven jobs in Canada are tied in some way to the automotive sector. Clearly, the economies of Ontario and Canada are closely tied to the success of this industry.

The purpose of this study was to focus on two critical issues that face the automotive sector:

  1. The automotive components industry is presently facing a shortage of skilled trades people, and this shortage will become even more critical in the future.
  2. The Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s member firms’ inability to garner the needed human resources will result in the loss of existing and potential contracts to other jurisdictions around the globe.

The environment in which the automotive sector operates today has clearly become global in nature. Competition is coming from everywhere – from within Canada, other countries and from alternative products in the form of new technologies. Survival depends on a firm’s ability to adapt and to change rapidly in response to these challenges, and in order to ensure long-term success all firms must understand the global perspective. The Autoshift 2002 study provides a framework called the Global Effectiveness Monitor (GEM) that was developed by the IEE to enable organizations and their industry groups to deal effectively with the complexity and disruptive nature of today’s global environment.

A key outcome of the study, as identified by many of the leaders of the automotive components industry, is that innovation is essential for the future of the automotive industry here in Ontario. The participating APMA leaders indicated that innovation would come as a direct result of the right blend of people and culture within the APMA member firms.

Each firm is an organization that is made up of a team of individuals. It is the responsibility of the leaders of an organization to ensure that each member of the team is aware of their distinct creativity, sees the connection they have to the vision of the organization as a whole, understands their individual role on the team, and possesses the necessary resources to fulfill that role. Success in all of these areas will result in success for everyone. Innovation and prosperity will be the natural outcome.

A critical action strategy that was suggested by many leaders throughout the survey process is the establishment of an industry-based centre for excellence that would focus on these issues related to people, leadership, and organizational culture. It would be a centre created by the industry, within the industry, in order to serve all the members of this industry in meeting their future needs.

The future of the automotive components industry in Ontario depends on its ability to innovate and adapt.

Click below for the Autoshift 2002 — Action Strategies for the Automotive Components Industry in the 21st Century study.

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