By on January 21, 2016

oshawaGM

General Motors CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra met with Canadian government officials in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, but didn’t reveal any specifics for the automaker’s languishing Oshawa, Ontario plant, according to CTV News.

Barra spoke with Navdeep Bains, Canada’s economic development minister, before she met with new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Bains promoted Oshawa as a place for GM to build cars and develop technology for future cars. The Oshawa plant currently produces several outgoing models including the Cadillac XTS, Buick Regal and several others with uncertain futures including the outgoing Chevrolet Equinox.

Chevrolet built the Camaro in Oshawa before shifting production to Michigan last year, which resulted in 1,000 job cuts.

Bains pressed Barra to consider the Canadian facility for the company’s long-term plans at the economic summit in Davos, but GM appears to be firmly noncommittal.

“We made it very clear that Canada is open for business, that we’re a willing partner in that and as they plan production, as they plan their business plan for the next two to three to five years, that we’re part of that business plan, that we are given serious consideration,” Bains said, according to CTV.

Canadian officials have long pressed GM into committing more to the Oshawa plant, which stayed open during the final crisis, in part, due to the government’s help. Last year, the former mayor of Oshawa, John Gray, told Canadians to boycott GM if the automaker didn’t commit more cars and jobs to the facility:

“Canadian taxpayers bailed out GM Canada, allowing it to survive. Recently, the federal and provincial governments have sold their shares in the company … Now they have no say over the company.

“Canadian taxpayers lost $3 billion on the sales of the shares. And now GM doesn’t plan on having a presence here. That’s a pretty compelling story.”

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38 Comments on “General Motors’ Latest on Oshawa Plant: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Breaking news, Shrug Emoji has just become GMs new director of Media Relations.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    USD now buys 1.48 CAD, so relative devaluation of Canadian fiat currency is underway (2 years ago, USD & CAD were near par).

    Unknown GM spokesperson is telling Canadian officials that if they get CAD to 1/2 a USD, “we make bother to talk about keeping Oshawa open for some vehicle.”

  • avatar

    such a shame after the Canadian government helped bail GM out of BK and now they are planning to import the Envision from China, a Communist country that abuses human rights. Stop the Invasion, Boycott Envision!

    Buickman
    Founder
    GeneralWatch.com

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      …How is this relevant to the discussion?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        C’mon, Dr. Z.

        Whether you agree w/B-Man or not, the fact that GM is letting Oshawa wither on the vine while at the same time not only build Buicks & Cadillacs in China – for export to North America – is of some relevance to this topic.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          I don’t really disagree with the sentiment; I just don’t see why it has to be the same words every discussion, followed by an unnecessary signature. It’s like having lunch with Grandma and all she wants to talk about is how terrible the world is because they don’t attend her church every Sunday.

          Drzhivago138
          Lord Protector of the Sovereign Nation of Pen Island
          Penisland.net

          • 0 avatar

            that’s funny!

          • 0 avatar

            Check his credentials, Dr. Z.

            Spend a l’il time at GeneralWatch.com. Few are more highly qualified to address GM’s ups and downs IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I’m aware of the credentials, and he’s very qualified. But just because I’m an AFOL doesn’t mean it’s necessary to complain on every Lego board about how Lego switched its grays to a different shade back in 2004.

            http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6189/6121056018_75d91ec1eb.jpg

          • 0 avatar

            Goddamn it, I clicked on that site…

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            We need more passionate, fervent, but LOGICAL & SINCERE debate, ad hominem attacks absent, whether the subject matter is an automaker and its actions or a government and its actions.

            Apathy is our enemy.

          • 0 avatar
            seth1065

            That is a real web address Dr Z

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I think you guys need to figure out whether you want GM to be:

            (1) a ward of the state that teeters from crisis to crisis, hemorrhaging money and taking bailouts every time the wind blows, or

            (2) an independent, global carmaker that sources talent globally to stay competitive.

            GM can’t be both. If you pick #2, then you should expect GM to make cars where long term profits are maximized. Places like Mexico and China.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    What kind of place IS Canada?!

    Someone’s great grandmother is being forced to help build that Camaro!

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    To be blunt, if GM can’t keep 1 darn plant in Canada, after the huge bailout contribution in 2009, then I’d definitely boycott them for the rest of my life… ( and I presume I’m not the only Canadian that would… )

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Please document your demands of GM in terms of number of plants, jobs and anything else you feel owed for bailing them out.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      I agree dusterdude….Within in ten miles of where I sit {east end of Oshawa} there is 5 GM dealers. All 5 of them have gone through extensive renovations. I shudder to think,of the debt load these guys are carrying.

      The numbers of GM employees is a fraction of what it used to be. Still the city and the surrounding area is full of GM retirees, and their families.

      If GM was to shut down here ? I wouldn’t want to be a local GM dealer.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I love GM.

  • avatar
    iamcanjim

    Canada’s dropping dollar helps keep GM in Oshawa. Unfortunately, Ontario’s very very high electricity prices make it difficult for manufacturers. The high electricity prices (caused by a series of well meaning government blunders) are probably the biggest factor.

    • 0 avatar
      never_follow

      You hit the nail on the head. Wynnie the poo (and McGuilty before her)’s energy policies have been and continue to be a fiasco that certainly have not driven out manufacturing singlehandedly, but have contributed greatly to it’s death.

      It’s only getting worse, as she looks at balancing the budget by selling off the rest of the family silver. (At least Harris only LEASED the 407 for 99 years…)

      As it stands, I have no affinity for GM products. My parents had a long line of GM products ending with my mom’s CTS, which at 80000 km’s and ten years old looked worn out like a child’s toy, despite being well cared for and garaged, and having a CEL that was unkillable. They can sink or float as they deserve to.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @VoGo–I would pick option number 2 if it was guaranteed that the US and Canadian government never have to give or lend GM another dime. If GM gets into financial trouble then it should either be acquired by another more financially sound competitor or sold or given to the Chinese.

  • avatar
    islander800

    The contrast between today’s reality, and the world of my youth, growing up in 1960s St. Catharines, Ont., is astonishing.

    St. Catharines was a very prosperous auto industry city in the 1960s, with automotive industrial activity centered around McKinnon Industries and GM. Many GM drivetrain components, including engines, were manufactured in St. Catharines, along with numerous first-tier suppliers of frames, rear ends, etc. The jobs in the factories were many and they paid very, very well – St. Catharines had an almost boom town feel to it.

    Today, the industrial strength that gave St. Catharines its prosperity is a shell of its 1960s self. The city has perhaps moved on, but the scars still show. And there’s a whole class of wage earners that have been decimated.

    I guess we just have to get used to G.M. sportutes and Buicks imported from China and suck it up.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The reality is that nothing ever stays the same. Most will not work for the same company for life and there is little to no job security. It will not just be GM that imports Chinese vehicles but Ford, Chrysler, and eventually Honda and Toyota. The only problem with this is fewer will have a decent paying job to afford new cars and there is only so many months a car loan can be extended. Maybe more consumers will lease cars and maybe more will actually pay for a service that provides a vehicle when needed. The importance of having a car to the younger generation is not so much today and no longer considered a rite of passage into adulthood and independence. Also the new model year is not as an important event and what you drive is not as important as it use to be. Many view a car as an appliance and most of today’s cars and cuvs look enough alike that if you took off the emblems you would have a hard time telling the difference between each brand–large gaping fish mouth grills, small windows, large pillars, large wheels with little sidewalls, and hiked up rear ends with little slits for taillights. Also many are white, gray, and black. Just add brushed stainless and you have a refrigerator on wheels.

    Agree Dead Weight “Apathy is our enemy.”

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Since the oil industry has all but collapsed in Canada, Ontario is in a position to become once again the dominant economic engine of the country.
    GM can posture and get cheap or free government money since politicians don’t want another hit to the economy. Marchionne walked away a few years ago and politicians didn’t really care since they had Alberta as their saviour.
    The threat of lost manufacturing jobs carries a ton of weight in Ottawa and in Toronto’s Queens Park right about now.

    “We need more passionate, fervent, but LOGICAL & SINCERE debate”

    Agreed 100%.

    Kudos.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Marchionne walked away? Well, he’s still being cagey about Brampton, but he’s going all-in on Windsor, with the next gen minivans and added assembly lines. Windsor is now the biggest of FCA’s plants in terms of assembly lines, so Sergio can’t very well walk away.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “We need more passionate, fervent, but LOGICAL & SINCERE debate”

    Are we voting on something? I never get the effing memo.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Lou, do you think this is more posturing by GM to get the Canadian Gov. to kick in some more money to get GM to stay in Oshawa? If so what assurances does the Canadian Gov. have that GM is not going to pull out anyway?


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