Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is banking on a $40 million upgrade of its manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to consolidate and modernize its assembly operations, improve its product research and development and enhance its employee training program.
The renovations afforded by the investment allow the coach manufacturer, headquartered in suburban Chicago, to consolidate the production of its E and J coach models. It also enables the company to manufacture its G coach in Winnipeg for the first time.
In addition, the company added two new buildings to its Winnipeg operation — a coach finishing facility and an 8,000-square-foot product delivery center that features four bays and a customer area with a lounge outfitted with phone lines and laptop hookups.
To enable the expansion and consolidation, the province of Manitoba agreed to provide a $2.8 million conditional grant for plant expansion and equipment and a $2.2 million grant for employee training. In addition, the province will provide a $9.4 million loan from the Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program that is repayable at the standard government borrowing rate.
MCI President Tom Sorrells expressed appreciation for local and regional support of the initiative. “We are also grateful to the Winnipeg community and all those who work at MCI for the faith they place in us,” he said.
MCI currently employs 1,600 workers at its Winnipeg plants, with an estimated additional 1,700 jobs directly linked to MCI’s Manitoba operations.
The company is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It was in 1933 that MCI founder Harry Zoltok built the first coach, an 11-passenger body on a Packard car chassis. At that time the company was known as Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works Ltd.