Is There A Silver Lining Amid The GM Oshawa Closure?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
is there a silver lining amid the gm oshawa closure

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

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  • Potemkin Potemkin on Jun 03, 2012

    daro31: Never heard of a Shit run. I spent 35 years in the car plant in Oshawa and only heard of one instance of multiple sabotage. Someone in the paint shop threw grit on the paint of several cars. It happened twice in one week and the culprits were dealt with. That was in the early 90's I think. Sure some people get pissed for one reason or another and F*** up a job or two but wide spread organized sabotage would be caught and the perpetrators dealt with. Quality is closely monitored and too many screw ups raise all kinds of flags. If indeed the comitteemen and union were organizing sabotage don't you think that someone would blab to management? Some of the rank and file workers don't like the union anymore than you do.

  • Daro31 Daro31 on Jun 04, 2012

    Sorry, it wasn't a GM plant however a very recently closed plant in the Southwestern Ontario area, Late 70's and through the 80's was quite common tactic to poorly taken management decisions.

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.