Oshawa Will Perform Silverado and Sierra Final Assembly

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
oshawa will perform silverado and sierra final assembly

Trucks are coming back to Oshawa — kinda.

According to The Globe and Mail, a $400-million investment will fund upgrades necessary for Oshawa to perform final assembly of General Motors pickups using bodies manufactured in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and shipped to Canada.

The report states the investment in Oshawa’s Flex Line will enable it to build the trucks, which includes installing interiors and other tasks much like work performed by Consolidated Line workers to build Chevrolet Equinoxes using bodies provided by CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario.

GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly currently produces regular- and double-cab light- and heavy-duty pickups.

After marathon negotiations earlier this week, Unifor president Jerry Dias praised the deal reached with General Motors, stating, “I am pleased to announce to our members … that we have found a solution for your facilities.” It’s unclear if the solution is needed for sake of pickup demand or a “make-work” project to keep Oshawa open until the next round of labor negotiations, which are planned for 2020.

The Globe and Mail stated sources had earlier said full-size SUV bodies could be shipped from Arlington, Texas, for final assembly, which would have meant a 1,460-mile journey to Oshawa. The bodies coming from Fort Wayne will be shipped just over 400 miles for final assembly.

The new production allotment is a far cry from what Oshawa lost in 2009. In the throes of the recession, General Motors closed its truck plant in Oshawa. GM eventually moved that production to Silao, Mexico, when sales of full-size pickups increased as the economy recovered.

Oshawa has lost other products recently, including the Chevrolet Camaro (production moved to Michigan) and Chevrolet Impala Limited, a previous-generation Impala that went out of production this summer.

In addition to the new pickup line, Oshawa will produce the Cadillac XTS until 2019. General Motors plans to produce the next-generation Buick Regal exclusively in Germany. The current-generation Chevrolet Impala is currently built in Oshawa and Michigan, but demand for full-size sedans is on a downward trend.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Sep 22, 2016

    Wow, this kind of stuff can't be efficient. Someone must be paying (the Canadian taxpayer?) I remember back in the 70s here in Australia when our dairy industry is much as the US is now, regulated and controlled. This is what occurred. Milk was transported over 1 000km from Victoria to New South Wales and New South Wales milk was transported to Victoria to keep jobs flowing. Since the early eighties when Australia freed up its economy and became a free market economy milk has dropped in price, along with cheese and butter. We can buy a nice one kilo cheddar for $6AUD or $4.50USD. Milk is 90c AUD per litre or 65cUS a quart. Australia is now a mass exporter of dairy. Why? Because the farmers had to become competitive. The sh!t farmers sold out or went broke, which was good. This article highlights what happens with protection of unviable industry. The NA auto industry really needs to free up its practices or it will go down big time and the Chinese will end up owning the Big 3.

    • See 3 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Sep 22, 2016

      Big Al from Oz - we all can change our names and it isn't going to change a thing. "If one runs across more than 3 a-holes in one day, one needs to look in the mirror to see the a-hole actually is."

  • Jhughes Jhughes on Sep 22, 2016

    Logistically, I don't see how it could make money or sense to build a vehicle partway in one factory, then ship it 400 miles so another factory can finish assembly. I get that it's about the bigger picture, some of which involves keeping people employed at Oshawa. But why not just build the entire vehicle, whatever it is, in one factory? It's not like they have to go the crate knock-down route to avoid the Chicken Tax.

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    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Sep 29, 2016

      Late to the party, but in the case of those trucks, will the VIN show Canada? (Point of final assembly?) That'd be my guess, but I could be wrong.

  • Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
  • Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
  • SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
  • Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.