GM extends Oshawa consolidated line production to 2017

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Wednesday it plans to extend the life of its Oshawa Assembly Plant’s consolidated line to 2017, an assembly line that recently was expected to close next year.

The Detroit automaker said it will invest $12 million Canadian to boost Chevrolet Equinox production on the consolidated line at Oshawa and for changes to the body shop at its CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.

“This new investment represents a very effective way for us to meet strong demand for the Chevrolet Equinox and it’s positive news for our community,” GM Canada President and Managing Director Steve Carlisle said in a statement.

The CAMI plant sends extra Equinox vehicle bodies beyond its capacity to the Oshawa plant for paint and final assembly. GM said the investment will help it meet North American demand for the compact Equinox.

Oshawa’s one-shift consolidated line builds the Equinox and Chevrolet Impala Limited, a fleet vehicle. It has been slated to close several times in the past but has been extended by demand for vehicles. A three-shift flex line at Oshawa Assembly builds the Buick Regal, Chevy Impala, Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac XTS. Camaro production is shifting to GM’s Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in November.

GM said it expects to manage the loss of Camaro production at the Oshawa plant without layoffs through the use of incentivized retirement programs. The loss of the Camaro is expected to cut 1,000 jobs and one shift from the flex line at the plant.

Some analysts think the Oshawa plant is at risk for closure and many aren’t forecasting any production at the plant by 2019.

GM earlier this year had said it would wait until contract negotiations with the Unifor union conclude next year before making any new vehicle or investment announcements regarding the Oshawa plant.

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