Business & Economic Development - Sectors

Heavy Vehicle Manufacturing

Sector Structure

Size: The sector is a significant part of Manitoba`s $1.9 billion transportation equipment manufacturing industry, which is the province`s second largest manufacturing industry. The sector employs an estimated 6,500 persons and accounts for about 10% of Manitoba’s annual exports.

Dominant Activities:

  • The sector specializes in the production of urban and intercity buses, fire trucks, motor homes, recreational vehicles, trailers and agricultural equipment.
  • Manitoba has a wide range of component manufacturing operations that supply original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s).

Structure & Concentration:

  • A large amount of the economic activity in the sector is concentrated in the two large bus manufacturers (Motor Coach Industries Ltd., and New Flyer Industries Ltd.) which produce buses for the North American market, and in a large tractor manufacturer (Buhler Industries) which produces tractors for the North American and global markets.
  • Manitoba has a well-diversified infrastructure of suppliers of raw materials, parts, component assemblies and services to the OEM’s. Many of these suppliers also serve the aerospace and agricultural equipment sectors.


  • Over a third of the bus market in North America is supplied by Manitoba companies with Motor Coach Industries being the major manufacturer of intercity coaches and New Flyer Industries the largest supplier of urban transit buses.
  • New Flyer Industries is a North American leader in the commercialization of buses using alternative propulsion. This was prominently demonstrated to the world when it produced a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses that were used for shuttle transport during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
  • Motor Coach Industries` coaches make up about 90% of Greyhound's North American fleet.
  • Fort Garry Fire Trucks is Canada’s largest manufacturer of fire-fighting equipment.
  • Buhler Industries is a leading Canadian manufacturer of agricultural equipment under the Farm King and Versatile brands. It operates and distributes throughout North America and parts of Eastern Europe.
  • Parker Hannifin`s Electronic Controls Division, located in Winnipeg, designs, develops and manufactures electronic, electromechanical and electrohydraulic controls for OEMs of agricultural and construction equipment, buses, trucks and RVs.

Bookmarks on this page:

Bus manufacturing Click to enlarge 50 KB
Manitoba Your Investment Destination in the Heavy Vehicle Industry PDF
Manitoba Your Investment Destination in the Heavy Vehicle Industry
(1.34 MB PDF)

Top of the page

Sector Capabilities

Original Equipment Manufacture:

  • bus assembly
  • motorhomes
  • fire engines
  • step vans
  • semi-trailers

Component supplies and services:

  • metal supply and fabrication
  • castings and machining
  • electronics
  • plastic & rubber processing
  • finishes (coatings, electroplating & decals)
  • components for military vehicles

Top of the page

Competitive Strengths

  • Manitoba's heavy vehicle manufacturing sector represents a cluster of OEMs, suppliers and research institutions that is unique in Western Canada. Supplier capabilities include foundries, metal fabrication and machining, plastics, rubber and composites processing, and electrical and electronic component design and manufacture.
  • The largest and most comprehensive institute of applied learning in Manitoba, Red River College is home to Manitoba’s Advanced Transportation and Energy Centre – a 3,000 sq. ft. facility for research in emissions reduction and the use of renewable fuels for the transportation sector – and the new Electric Vehicle Technology and Education Centre, which supports the development of electric vehicles in Manitoba.
  • The Composites Innovation Centre conducts research and development in the application of composite materials in manufacturing industries, focusing on aerospace, ground transportation, bio-materials, and civil infrastructure. Projects are performed in partnership with industry, government agencies, and educational establishments.
  • Western Canada Testing (WesTest), in Portage la Prairie, designs, tests and develops machinery for equipment manufacturers. WesTest recently opened a new Vehicle Performance Centre which broadens its capabilities to test many aspects of vehicle design and performance.
  • Winnipeg`s Industrial Technology Centre has for 30 years provided advanced technical research and testing for a variety of clients in a diverse range of sectors including aerospace, transportation, health, and energy.
  • Manitoba`s Vehicle Technology Centre is a non-profit organization, led by representatives of the key manufacturers in Manitoba’s Heavy Vehicle cluster. The VTC fosters technological advancement within the cluster through collaboration, support and advocacy.


In response to increasing demand for sustainable transportation, the goals of reduced emissions, increased fuel efficiency and development of new, alternative modes of propulsion are top-of-mind issues for Manitoba’s vehicle OEM’s. New Flyer is a leader in the commercialization of alternative propulsion systems, and produces buses using ultra-low sulphur diesel, CNG, LNG, hydrogen fuel cells, and hybrid buses. New Flyer has now begun development of a battery electric bus as part of a consortium that also includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Manitoba Hydro, Red River College and the Province of Manitoba.

Top of the page

Key Players

Top of the page

Contact Info

Manitoba Trade and Investment
1100 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 3P4
Tel: 204-945-2466
Fax: 204-957-1793

Related Links

Top of the page