GM has just gotten back to us about the Oshawa Consolidated plant closing down next year, and despite the carefully worded, PR-approved statements, there are some good nuggets of information, and perhaps a couple conclusions to draw from here.
The Consolidated line was originally set to close in 2008, based on plans drawn up in 2005. Demand for the Equinox and Impala meant that the line stayed open until now. The shutdown will occur in phases, with the third shift phased out in the fourth quarter of 2012, and the second shift ending in the first quarter of 2013. Production will end when the final current-gen Impala rolls off the line in 2013.
With the introduction of the new Impala and the Cadillac XTS, production will shift to the Oshawa “Flex” line that builds cars like the Buick Regal and Chevrolet Camaro. Currently, GM estimates that two shifts should be sufficient to meet demand for all cars, but, as a GM spokesperson noted
“…based on market demand and the introduction of the next generation Impala on the Flex Line, there may be a need for additional capacity in the future.”
GM also confirmed that despite some early reports, there were no plans to build the Impala at a re-opened plant in Alabama. Detroit-Hamtramck would be the sole venue for U.S. Impala production. Presumably, GM is banking on strong sales and a third shift at Oshawa to meet demand, and hopefully the workers who will be on “indefinite layoff” would get a crack at those jobs. Those who aren’t may be able to opt for a retirement package.
Once again, we’d like to thank Mikey and other readers who have shared their experiences at GM/Oshawa and invite them to contribute in any way they feel comfortable. Comments can be left below, and as always, we can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org