(WWJ) Ford is going to upgrade its Essex engine plant in Windsor to make a new engine for big pickup trucks.

But the company also announced that it’s going to build a new research center in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa.

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WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert explains that center will focus on connectivity. Ford says it’s doubling its research on connecting vehicles to each other, to the infrastructure and connecting our devices. AutoTrader analyst Michelle Krebs says much of the cutting edge research on this subject was done in Canada by the first smart phone maker.

So it’s no mistake that’s who Ford is reaching out to.

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“It is pretty clear what Ford is going after, for instance engineers who have worked on smartphones, worked on Blackberry for instance,” Krebs said.

In addition to the 300 engineers hired in Canada, Ford’s hiring 100 others for new centers in North Carolina and Florida, Gilbert reported.

The timing is important, says auto trader analyst Michelle Krebs — as the Trump administration pushes car makers to invest on this side of the border.

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“The Canadian investment comes after very significant investments were announced by Ford in the U.S, so there’s a balancing act,” Krebs said.