General Motors Co. said Thursday it has extended the life of a production line at its Oshawa Assembly Plant in Ontario until likely 2016, due to demand for the Chevrolet Impala Limited and Chevrolet Equinox.
The consolidated line at its Oshawa plant had been slated to end production in June 2014. GM said due to projected demand for the vehicles, it expects the line will now end production in 2016, though it noted scheduling could change depending on market demand. The line currently runs on one shift and has about 650 employees.
“There are no anticipated changes to employment levels as a result of this scheduling action,” GM Canada Corporate Communications Manager Adria MacKenzie said in an email.
The move is the latest reprieve for Oshawa’s consolidated line, which GM in June 2012 said it planned close in June 2013, and up to 2,000 workers faced losing their jobs. Later, in October 2012, GM said the consolidated line would run on one shift until June 2014. The consolidated line had run on three shifts at one time.
The Detroit automaker first announced in November 2005 that it planned to end the Oshawa consolidated line in 2008. But demand for vehicles such as the Equinox have kept the line humming.
GM last fall said it would add a third shift on its flex line at the Oshawa plant. That line, which now has about 2,700 workers, builds the Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Camaro, Buick Regal and Cadillac XTS.
Unifor Local 222 President Ron Svajlenko said the extension of the consolidated line gives hope that the plant, which has been recognized for its high quality, will “stay in the running for future products going forward.”
“We feel pretty positive,” he said.
Unifor Local 222, formerly Canadian Auto Workers Local 222, represents hourly workers at the Oshawa plant. Oshawa has about 3,500 workers, down from about 4,000 workers a year ago.
GM since 2009 has announced investments to manufacturing facilities in Canada totaling about $1 billion.