Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA) president Flavio Volpe has been appointed to the Order of Canada.
Among Volpe’s most recent accomplishments is orchestrating the design of Canada’s first zero-emissions vehicle, $20-million electric concept car branded as the Arrow, to show off Canadian made parts. Back in 2019 he had attended Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s throne speech where the PM challenged everyone to make their industries net zero. Volpe got to work and came with the concept of the Arrow, a lightweight, zero-emissions vehicle with self-driving capability. It’s a fully functional car that can reach 180 kph and has a 500-km range and was displayed across North America last year.
More importantly perhaps, as a showpiece for Canadian manufacturing capabilities, the Arrow in 2023 generated over $500 million in sales for the various Canadian parts makers involved.
Working closely with officials in Ottawa, Washington & Mexico City during the 2017-19 NAFTA renegotiations, he led the effort to secure an unprecedented increase in Regional Content for suppliers in the new USMCA. In 2022, he was named to the Ontario Premier’s Council on US Trade & Competitiveness.
When the global COVID19 pandemic created a dangerous medical equipment shortage in Canada in 2020, he launched one of the biggest peacetime mobilizations of the country’s industrial capacity in its history. Dubbed a ‘Manufacturing Hero’ by the Toronto Star for his leadership, this work resulted in the largest build-orders of critical ventilators, PPE & test swabs in Canada’s history.
In 2022, when anti-government actors illegally blockaded the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor costing the industry $1B, he led the APMA to secure an injunction in Ontario Superior Court to force the reopening of Canada’s most critical international border crossing.
Volpe said receiving the Order of Canada was not something he was expecting.
“Definitely not. I’m proud of the work I’ve done for Canadian parts makers, but as a member of the manufacturing community, I’m especially proud of what we accomplished during the pandemic—converting factories to make PPE and ventilators. It was the largest peacetime mobilization of Canada’s industrial capacity ever,” Volpe said in a recent interview with Toronto Life magazine.