By on October 17, 2013

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A brief memo from General Motors Canada confirmed that the Oshawa consolidated line, scheduled to close in 2014, will stay open until 2016. GM is citing strong market demand for the Chevrolet Equinox and the outgoing, Chevrolet Impala (sold as a fleet-only model) as a reason for the decision, but cautioned that ” All scheduling adjustments are subject to market demand”.

Under the terms of the bailout, GM must keep 16 percent of its production in Canada until it has repaid its loan obligations to the Canadian government, or until December 31, 2016. After that date, the future of Oshawa is uncertain.

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27 Comments on “General Motors To Keep Oshawa Consolidated Line Open Past 2014...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So more than likely Jan 1 2017 is the end of the line for Oshawa. Sucks but I suppose its better than closing earlier.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      With the report that Canada is the most expensive country to build cars in, what do you expect? They’re (autoworkers/Canada/caw) lucky they have that long.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        It really isn’t that long, but it is better than nothing (for them).

        I suspect that GM will continue to produce for Canadian consumption as long as they can since trans-shipping Canadian-made vehicles to the US or elsewhere is just not cost-effective.

        Personally, I’d like to see more production of ALL brands in Mexico, and then ship it all north under NAFTA.

        The VW/UAW situation in TN just underscores the existential desperation of the UAW to force unionization even in right-to-work states.

        While I’m no longer a fan of GM, I hope that it will bring home some of the profits to America. And that is seriously affected if GM keeps producing in any place that “is the most expensive country to build cars in.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Honestly what I’d like to see happen is the OEM and the Oshawa workers find a way to make it work. So its expensive to build, ok but for what you build you get a high quality item because you have a dedicated workforce. Build models which can fetch prices that will justify the higher build costs (such as Cadillacs or SUVs) and deliver your customers a very well made product that justifies the higher price. They see it as we’re happy to build a high end and low end model in the same cheap factory and if the purchaser of the high end model suffers quality issues let the dealer’s handle it because we just made a boatload of margin. There’s something wrong with this mode of thinking.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          In a day of electronics controlling everything in the car, what qualifies as “high” quality?
          Is it efficiency?
          Software with minimal problems?
          A screw in the dashboard holding sound proofing to the wall being properly torqued to 53 inch pounds?
          Frame being made of exotic materials that are impossible to repair if damaged?

          I mean its not as simple as something being made of a higher grade steel or thicker metal anymore.

          Obviously seeing the prices on the new caddy volt and the new CTS, GM is wanting to make bankrolls in that division, moving production to Canada means less dough.
          SUVs are also overpriced as all hell, one could easily make the argument that the majority of profits come from trucks/ true SUVs, decreasing profit rates on those is suicide, putting a vehicle with less profit built into could mean no profits.

          While we’re at it how much does it actually cost to produce a classic impala? 12k?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would consider the end product to be an indication of high or low quality. What goes into making it a high or low quality product I can’t say. You make some valid points, I certainly don’t have the answers I’d just like to see a historically successful facility continue.

        • 0 avatar
          tuffjuff

          @28-Cars-Later

          The dashboard and panel gaps on my 2013 Chevy Equinox would like to have a word with this supposed “well made” product argument. Or is the labor not to blame, but rather the product planners? Perhaps *all* 2013 Equinoxes (the fourth year in of the generation, by the way) have these issues?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sorry to hear that about your Equinox, I’ve always found the products built at Oshawa to be of high quality. Perhaps a design issue as you suggest?

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The panel gaps are in every Equinox I’ve seen. It’s a design and/or supplier issue, but as long as they’re consistent, they are no indicative of the quality of the materials or assembly. There were panel gaps in my ’62 Buick, ’63 Rambler, ’63 Chrysler, and ’68 Mercury, and all four cars were excellent drivers, for what they were, when they were. Bottom line, panel gaps are not indicative of anything but someone’s idea that they represent lack of quality.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So I wonder if they intend to keep the “Impala Classic” in production until then? I guess if you want a sedan with a 19 cubic foot trunk, 300hp DI V6, and a slice of nostalgia your window of opportunity just got bigger.

    The sad thing is I’ve always been under the impression that this was one of GMs highest ranked plants in initial quality. Seems a shame to break up something that was actually working well with the resources given to them.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      W-body will never die muhahahahahahahaha.

      I’ve head the same about Oshawa and I believe Mikey has indicated that as recently as 2008 they did an equipment upgrade/modernization to the plant.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        First off its great news for Oshawa. The “consolidated line” was created in 2008 when plant #1 was completely gutted. The Flex line was installed using the same real estate that plant 1 occupied.

        “Consolidated” was just that. Plant #1 and plant # 2 put together. Today they run the old Impala, a few Equinox. The majority of the Equinox production is done at the Cami plant,in Ingorsoll

        Flex is a whole different line. Hopefully its not going anywhere?

        @ Tuffjuff..The engineers design,and set the standards. The assemblers do just that, assemble.

        I’ve said this before,but it bears repeating. In the modern auto assembly process,the worker has little,or zero impact, on the final quality of the vehicle build.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I must be an old soul but I envision a factory of any kind I see men working with their hands like craftsmen and creating high quality products. In 2008 I toured a furniture factory in Winchester Virginia called Henkle Harris, their employees were literally mufti-generational craftsman who build high quality furniture from scratch and sold it to the elites (for contrast, a small coffee table was like $1,000, a bedroom set $15,000 etc). Auto manufacturing may not be as romantic as this, but I wouldn’t sell yourself short on saying workers have little to no impact on the final product. Unless the production line is 100% automated it still takes dedicated people to build the cars and ensure the product is up to snuff.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            The people on the line,for the most part, do their best. Yes there is some idiots,and slackers. Not nearly as many a there was. Believe it, or not, back in the 70s and 80s shoddy workmanship was not tolerated.

            More than just management. There was a lot of peer preasure.

            For example. Say your trying to assemble an air cleaner to the 4 bbl carb on an 84 Caprice. The guy behind you hasn’t tightened down the carb stud. Your job has now become a whole lot harder.
            During the rad fill process, the system hits 30 psi for a few seconds. If an idiot neglected to tourqe up the the upper rad hose to the thermostat housing? Maybe three people get an unwanted shower with engine coolant. The idiot in question may find that somebody has mistaken his lunch pail, for a urinal.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Mikey my father told similar stories about the steel mills and later the penitentiary where he was a CO. Screwups have a funny way of being dealt with he said.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Judging by the way GM Canada, CAW and even the UAW have influenced and managed themselves the factory will have to close in the medium term.

    Massive retirement funds are needed to be paid out to the Canadian workers very soon. Like I stated the cost of labour in Canada is higher than the US.

    The original $4 billion dollars has dwindled down to nearly nothing and is expected to run out in 2014. This money was part of the Ontario governments handout, of course at the tax payers expense.

    To cover the projected $800 million dollar pension bill debt in 2014 the manufacturer will have to raid its own money.

    I just hope GM foots the bill and doesn’t expect hard working Canadians to pay extra tax to support them. This only lowers the standard of living for many.

    Maybe other unions should help their ‘friends’ and pay their pension not society and their taxes.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @BAFO….With all due respect. I was born and raised in Canada. I also spent 36 plus years at GM Canada. I was a member of the UAW and CAW. I watch and read the news daily. I take great pride in the fact that I stay informed.

    You sir, havnt got fuckin clue what your talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      + 1 BAFO makes me wonder how many post-college grads are living in their mom’s basement. A Canadian who is a retired CAW worker as my source? Or a spurious four month old newspaper article that is supposed to be treated as automotive gospel? Newspapers are piss-pour sources of data; their job isn’t to really report the news, but to sell newspapers. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is a dumbass.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @el scotto
        How many newspaper articles and links do you want?

        The cost issues of the CAW pensions has been around for a while. The government will again be needed to pay out the CAW pensions.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/with-liabilities-looming-gm-and-uaw-agree-to-pension-buyouts-but-what-about-the-workers/

        Here’s a cut and paste from the CAW site, with the link below. So the CAW is being bailed out. What a dumba$$ you are sunshine.

        “Update To GM Members – Pension Plan Funding Letter

        August 1, 2012
        GM must put out an annual update on the funded status of the pension plan because they have special funding relief under the Ontario regulations.”

        http://www.caw199.com/pension.html

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          BAFO… I have that letter in front of me.”Special funding relief”? That dates back to the early 90s.

          At that time GM asked the Ontario govt, if they could waive their mandatory pension fund contributions. The Ontario government at the time granted GMs request.

          After all GM was too big to fail.

          It came back to bite Ontario on the butt.

          BTW are you aware that both the CAW represented people,and the salary folks were impacted by that deal?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM/Mikey
            That’s from 1992.

            The CAW expects the Ontario government to provide more. Why? Because the CAW have made ridiculous demands that aren’t affordable.

            Like I’ve always stated the unions make demands that are lacking in foresight and when the wheels fall of the cart who do they expect to pick up the pieces?

            The taxpayer.

            What about the other articles? Hmmmmm, Mikey, you kind of are in a corner, again.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ BAFO ….forget it Dude…I’m not playing your game.

            I’m going to follow the lead of everybody else here, and just going to ignore you.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Mikey
            I’m sorry to here that.

            The people who have problems with me only provide opinion based on their bias.

            I provide opinion based on data and fact.

            I’m neither left or right. I assess accordingly. UAW/CAW tend to distort and reduce their involvement and those to the far right do the same.

            You guys always have the ‘it the other guys fault, they made me do it’. Never accountable for you actions.

            I’m down the middle and independent. I make up my mind and not be lead.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Mikey or DiM
    Here’s the link, all you give is bull$hit, lie and spin.

    Typical auto worker tactic, deflect, distort and create ambiguity.

    Respect? If you guys had respect you wouldn’t have made the past decisions you had. Or did you become sincere and learn integrity yesterday?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/angst-in-oshawa-the-foggy-road-ahead-for-gm-canada/article12755206/?page=all

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Well, I read that Globe and Mail link, mate. Did you? It hardly backs up your white as a lily “I’m unbiased” proclamation. Quite the opposite: it shows that GM didn’t pay its pension obligations at the time, finagled $4 billion out of the provincial government, and is now in a deep sulk that its obligations are coming due, because it doesn’t want to pay them.

      GM Canada never went bankrupt, but apparently feels it shouldn’t really have to pay pension obligations, and that Canada should have forgiven them like the US did. What this has to do with lying cheating unions is beyond me, but I’m sure you have the answer, lying there in NT with perpetual heat stroke and chiggers

      Disingenuousness – you are the very definition of it. Look it up, and read this time. Next time, provide links that bolster your viewpoint, not argue against it.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @wmba
        1. I did not state GM Canada went bankrupt. GM removed money from Canada and Australian operations to Detroit. Even now GM Australia wants the government to ‘give’ them 500 million to remain in Australia. Our government had strings attached and GM Detroit doesn’t like the strings. Why? Because our new government expect results in return for the investment of taxpayer dollars.

        2. If you read other links and articles you will see how the CAW has taken on the Ontario government to payout the pensions because the CAW don’t think the 1992 changes to pension law are ‘fair’.

        3. wmba, I’ve had other discussions with you regarding the unions, you are pro union. You are a one of the left wingers. I’m not left or right.

        4. Google this particular issue and read up on it, as I’ve stated there are a number of article pertaining to it.

        Read the article. Don’t put your slant on it, read other related articles so you can a more balanced picture of what is going on.

        As I’ve stated this has been quite extensively covered by the media and even TTAC previously. Even if stories are a year old the situation is the CAW pension fund for GM Canada will run dry by 2014. The fund should be ‘self’ generating. GM Canada only contributes $200 million a year, it needs $800 million next year alone. Who will end up paying the $600 million. So who has been funding the $600 million per year shortfall? The CAW, doubt it.

        This also doesn’t include the $170 million the Ontario government just gave GM to ‘renovate’ the Oshawa plant.

        How much taxpayer money is needed to keep these unviable operation going and to save how many jobs?

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    I wonder if the W body Impala will get a rear camera and nav?


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