What Will GM Announce This Friday in Oshawa?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
what will gm announce this friday in oshawa

Yesterday, General Motors issued a release stating it will announce big news in Oshawa on Friday. According to The Star, that announcement will include 1,000 new jobs at GM’s engineering center, which now focuses on driverless and connected vehicles.

However, the announcement comes as uncertainty swirls around GM’s Oshawa Car Assembly Plant, a facility that many analysts believe is slated for closure.

Oshawa, once home to a truck plant and Camaro production, now builds the Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Impala Limited, Chevrolet Equinox, Buick Regal, and Cadillac XTS. GM Canada refuses to make any commitments to Oshawa until labor negotiations conclude this summer.

It’s been rumored that Regal production will move to Germany when the next-generation model bows in 2017. The XTS is slated to end production in 2019. That leaves just the Chevrolet Impala, which is also built in Hamtramck, Michigan, and Chevrolet Equinox, which is also built in Ingersoll, Ontario and Spring Hill, Tennessee, at Oshawa Car Assembly beyond 2019. Production of the Chevrolet Impala Limited, a previous-generation model only sold to fleets, ends this month.

At a meeting in London, Ontario last week, Unifor, the union that represents employees working at Detroit Three facilities in Ontario, announced its main focus going into this year’s collective bargaining.

“When we get into bargaining, the number one priority will be maintaining and expanding the footprint of the industry in Canada,” said Chris Taylor, Chair of the Auto Council and the President of Local 200 at the Ford engine plant in Windsor.

“That was the unanimous decision of our members here today.”

The 120 union delegates also agreed to focus on “specific investment mandates for Canada for assembly and powertrain operations,” Unifor stated in the release. The union would not elaborate when asked multiple times by TTAC for details.

Oshawa Assembly is one of two main battleground plants going into this year’s collective bargaining. Fiat-Chrysler’s Brampton plant, which produces the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger, is also rumored to close.

That’s not to say General Motors isn’t investing in Ontario in other ways.

In April, GM purchased a parcel of land in downtown Toronto from a film studio. The land is expected to be converted into a multi-use facility that will house Cadillac’s Canadian HQ and the Toronto GM Mobility Campus.

Last August, GM announced a small investment in Oshawa Assembly’s Consolidated Line to increase Equinox production, though a larger percentage of that investment went to GM’s Ingersoll plant.

GM could be investing in engineering in Oshawa as a way to placate local residents and governments, which bailed out GM to the tune of $10.8 billion, ahead of a future assembly plant closure.

Former Oshawa mayor John Gray encouraged Canadians to boycott GM if the company eliminates more jobs in Oshawa. The current mayor of the city is a bit more optimistic.

“The only thing I can say is that I’ll be attending the announcement on Friday morning,” mayor John Henry told The Star. “And I’m always keen about the excitement of a General Motors announcement in Oshawa.”

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4 of 14 comments
  • Mikey Mikey on Jun 08, 2016

    I spent my last 11 years, as a Dock Tech......

    • See 1 previous
    • CobraJet CobraJet on Jun 08, 2016

      @Zackman The w-body was a great design.

  • Abitolder Abitolder on Jun 08, 2016

    A month or so ago the President of GM Canada wrote an OpEd in the Globe and Mail newspaper and on the GM Canada website as linked: http://media.gm.com/media/ca/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/ca/en/2016/Apr/0426_SteveCarlisleOPED.html Walk ( or Drive ) the Talk Interesting opinions expressed about the future of the automotive business by Stephen Carlisle, President of General Motors Canada Company. Mr. Carlisle refers to the great changes coming to the automotive industry. But as a President and CEO of a company his job must surely be to grow jobs in Canada that provide futures for Canadians, not only to look for corporate profits. It started with workers on the assembly line that helped grow our communities, they would purchase homes and have children, these children would go to school and learn. Teachers would be hired, and stores and infrastructure would follow. As these children grew up, the parents would save to give them the opportunity to go to college or university, providing a more educated work force and helping the company grow. But GM in Canada has shuttered most of its core business, its highly acclaimed truck plant was transferred to Mexico. The Camaro went to Michigan along with some Impala production. We are left with remnants. A new Cadillac plant is opening in China, new Buick products are coming to North America from China later this year. Small cars are now made in Korea and imported to Canada and the USA. How does that help build an infrastructure for growth in Canada? Do you ever see Stephen shopping in a Loblaws food store or Canadian Tire, would he even say hello to you? Do you think he would ever take his company car in for service at a dealership to see what the experience is like? Would you not want to go and shake his hand and say thank you for doing something great in Canada? Again, a leader is part of the community, he helps it grow, Stephen spent most of his career off shore which is where our work is going now. Stephen, you want driver less cars, green energy and electric cars here, well how about you and your executives try using Chevrolet Volt’s as company cars, or the new Malibu or Cruze. And not for just 30 days, but for ever going forward? Why are most execs driving SUV’s. pickups and premium brands? Drive what you want us to drive. You want connectivity, why not let Uber drive you to work See what it feels like. That is what you are promoting. In today's world leaders are becoming extinct. We have bosses, executives, shareholders, prime ministers, presidents but no leaders. We have people who like to talk the talk but do not walk the walk, people are self centered, they talk from both sides of their mouths, they are takers not givers. All these people like to tell others what they should do, but refuse to do the same themselves. Look at our politicians, they are screaming for clean energy, fix climate change, be financially responsible, yet they are flying jets, driving SUV's, attending fancy events around the world, going to luxury hotels and luxury resorts, creating more and more debt yet they tell the people to make all these changes. So yes we must all step up to the plate, but as a professed leader we are counting on you for much more in our community Stephen.

  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.
  • El scotto Tesla has one team making EV's because that is all Tesla does. Farley -rolls eyes- decided to split Ford into two huge warring factions: ICE vs EV. Hey Jimbo, it says "FORD" on the buildings.Lord only knows what GM did internally because it's GM. I'm betting it's like Ford pitting ICE vs EVs. With GM being GM every existing division will be divided.Stellantis will keep building Challengers and Rams. Someday they may figure out that Jeep is the fugu fish of the automotive sushi world and unload to some Chinese. EV's? no, not really.If this site was The Truth About HVAC (TTAH) some on here would tell us that central heating and air causes unknown illnesses, will be bad, and cause a degradation of our nation's moral fiber. By golly they shoveled coal and carry ash buckets and that shouldn't change.