Oshawa Will Lose 'Doomed' Consolidated Line in 2017: Report

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
oshawa will lose 8216 doomed consolidated line in 2017 report

There might be some light at the end of the assembly line for Oshawa — but it will come with a price.

According to the Windsor Star, the plant’s Consolidated Line, which produces the Chevrolet Equinox in an overflow capacity using bodies shuttled from CAMI, won’t get another stay of execution and will certainly close in 2017.

However, a General Motors Canada executive familiar with the negotiations says that closing the Flex Line is not a “foregone conclusion.”

“The line is due to end production sometime in 2017,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity with the Windsor Star. “We haven’t said exactly when, but likely mid-year when we end production of the current generation of the Equinox”

GM Canada has postponed closing the Consolidated Line five times during the last eleven years. It was most recently scheduled to shut down in 2016. An announcement last year kept the line open into 2017.

Closing the Consolidated Line will take 750 jobs with it. In total, the Oshawa Assembly facility employs 2,400 hourly workers. The end of Camaro production on the Flex Line in November 2015 resulted in approximately 1,000 layoffs.

GM Canada has openly stated it will make no decisions on its Oshawa Flex Line until union negotiations conclude later this summer. Unifor, the union that represents hourly employees at Oshawa and other Detroit Three plants in Ontario, has promised to make product allocation a strike issue during labor negotiations. Unifor also believes the Consolidated Line can be saved.

“The life of that plant has been extended a few times and I don’t expect that to change,” Unifor president Jerry Dias told the Windsor Star. “There will be overflow from CAMI for several years.”

However, dumping the Consolidated Line to get production allocation for the Flex Line might be the best outcome for hourly employees.

“(The Flex Line) has the ability to come up with amazing solutions; we’re not ruling anything out, but we’ve clearly said that we’re going to end production on the consolidated line next year,” said Windsor Star’s source.

The current four-year contract between Unifor and General Motors expires September 19. Negotiations begin August 10.

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  • Mikey Mikey on Aug 01, 2016

    Okay. I'll , I've been following. First off., as others have mentioned , Mark made the rules, and the consequences perfectly clear. As far as i am concerned, thats that, and, we'll move on. So, an executive at GM leaked to the press, that shutting.,down Oshawa Flex, was not a given. Right?... I call B.S. "the leak" is all part of GM's game plan. Preliminary talks "tire kicking" as they call it, start on the 10th of August. No way, is someone at a senior level at GM going to risk his career , to talk to the Windsor Star. As late as January 2016, when asked by Prime Minister Trudeau "what the plan was for GM Oshawa," Mary Barra, wasn't willing to show her hand. However, now its August, and GM just threw that little nugget out there, to test the water. The" consolidated line " ,just as the name suggests, was cobbled together, back in 2007-08 out of the remnants of plant #2.."W" car. ...# 1 "W" car plant was gutted, back to the studs, while they put the Flex Plant together. At the time, it was figured, maybe we will get 3 years out of it ? It would be a gross under statement , to say that a "few things " might have changed at GM since the 2007-2008 era. When the last"W" fleet Impala rolled of the line in June of 16, that was the beginning of the end. Shuttling Equinox bodys, down the 401, as the sole product of an assembly line, just does nor make economic sense. So news of Consolidated being axed, is hardly earth shattering. The Flex, as once again, the name suggests , is indeed "flexible" all new and modern, with a contagious stamping plant next door. Some new, some older, retrofitted presses . The stamping plant at one point, was feeding "outer metal" fenders, doors , body sides, roofs , hoods etc, enough to run plant #1 and Plant #2, and a good percentage of Truck metal, fenders , hoods, floor pans, doors and box sides. Lots of stamping capacity, with a fairly modern automated ,storage and retrieval system. That all being said, while the Flex can produce just about anything, its not as easy as pulling a lever, and churning out a whole new configuration. A lot preliminary work involving Die sets , tooling adjustments etc requires a fair bit of lead time. Right ,so this great secret as to "is GM going to close Oshawa, or not" isn't such a great secret anymore. I'm hearing from many sources , that the activity level ,re- new product , is turning up a notch or two ????. When more than one party, knows a secret, it ain't a secret for too much longer. Wth all the behind the scenes activity going on, its stands to reason, that GM might just let a little leak out, before the Dam bursts, and all the info comes spewing out.

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    • Adam Tonge Adam Tonge on Aug 01, 2016

      Thanks for posting mikey. I, and I know countless others, appreciate your insights on manufacturing, Oshawa, and CAW/UAW/Unifor topics.

  • Mikey Mikey on Aug 01, 2016

    Thanks....I've been working,on punctuation, grammar , and sentence structure. It was getting late last night, and I just hit the submit button....Should have proof read, a little more carefully .

    • VoGo VoGo on Aug 01, 2016

      My approach is to write the post and hit "submit" and then go back and "click to edit" to proofread my comment. Regardless, Mikey, your comments are consistently worth wading through a little grammatical license.

  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.
  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.