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General Motors Co. said Tuesday it is growing its Canadian Engineering Centre in Oshawa, Ontario, and is looking to hire more than 100 software and controls engineers as GM creates a hub at the center for “connected car” and green technologies.

The engineering center will work on technologies related to connected car systems, applications and developing new software and controls related to high-speed data links between automobiles and mobile networks. It also will work on environmental and urban mobility solutions for future auto consumers and is focused in areas of alternative fuels, lightweight and advanced materials to help boost fuel economy, GM said.

GM has about 200 engineers now at its Oshawa engineering center, a number that will grow to 300 in the next year or so, said David Paterson, GM Canada vice president of corporate and environmental affairs.

“We have long been proud of GM Canada’s unique capability in Canada to design and engineer future products for our customers and our solid portfolio of patents and project breakthroughs,” GM Canada president and managing director Steve Carlisle said in a statement. “We are making this investment because we see an opportunity to take advantage of a wealth of talent in mobile technologies, software and advanced automotive engineering available in Canada’s leading universities and other partner organizations. Canada has the bench strength and, to borrow a famous hockey analogy, this is where the puck is going.”

GM Canada spends about $190 million Canadian in research and development annually, some in partnership with universities and suppliers. In 2012, GM said it would invest $850 million in research and development in Canada between 2009 and 2016, part of an agreement made with the Canadian governments for financial assistance during the downturn and GM’s bankruptcy.

Paterson said the Oshawa center, which opened in 1999, previously focused in areas such as chassis/electrical systems and alternative fuels. He said the core of connected car work will continue to be done at GM’s Warren Tech Center but Oshawa will become a supporting hub given Canada’s many companies and universities with expertise in the area.

“This is an area that’s growing very quickly,” he said.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319

Twitter.com/MBurden_DN

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