Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Head North After Eight-Year Absence

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
chevrolet silverado and gmc sierra head north after eight year absence

General Motors hasn’t made an official announcement about the new product destined for Ontario’s Oshawa Assembly plant, only saying that pickups would be sent there for final assembly. However, much like with Ford’s returning Bronco and Ranger, it often comes down to union brass to spill the beans about product allocation.

In this case, the union representing both autoworkers and employees at a seat supplier has provided proof of Oshawa’s new product. Two truck models snatched out of Oshawa by GM’s 2009 bankruptcy will indeed return.

In a media release, Unifor, which represents Canadian autoworkers and a number of industry suppliers, stated clearly that the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will be sent to Oshawa for final assembly. Lear Corporation of nearby Whitby, recently ratified a collective agreement with its Unifor-represented workers.

Besides the usual pay promises, the agreement “secures the assembly of the GM Oshawa K2XX Truck seats starting January 2018,” Unifor wrote. In case platform codes remain a mystery to the reader, the union went on to state it had “secured production of seats for the Sierra and Silverado trucks and good jobs.”

It was already generally accepted that the GM full-sizers would come to Oshawa, but the automaker — even after some prodding — wouldn’t mention it. Now it doesn’t have to.

Last week, Unifor Local 222 issued a memo stating the first truck shift will start in the fourth quarter of this year, employing 535 workers. A second shift, employing 500, will start in the second quarter of 2018. The move to bring trucks to Oshawa came during last year’s collective bargaining negotiations, where many thought the plant (Canada’s oldest) was in danger of closing.

Product has leaked from Oshawa for years, and continues to do so. In 2009, the Oshawa Truck Plant — which built the Silverado and Sierra — closed amid financial turmoil, ending operations that began in 1918. The Chevrolet Camaro followed a couple of years ago. Buick Regal assembly will depart next month, followed by Chevrolet Equinox final assembly this summer (leaving just the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS).

With the pickup deal, the plant gained a lifeline, while GM gained labor peace. As part of the supplier’s two-year agreement, it will also be tapped to provide seats for the K2XX replacement, code-named T1XX, should it come to Oshawa. The first vehicles build on the new full-size platform are expected to appear in late 2018.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on May 10, 2017

    I empathize with DenverMike. FYI, GM assembles pickups at three plants: Flint, MI, Ft. Wayne, IN, and Silao, Mexico. The window stickers show what percent "US Content". If GM could build more trucks with their existing plants, I'm sure they would not spend the money to tool Oshawa. The old Oshawa truck plant will NOT reopen, so they have to retrofit the car plant to build trucks. Will cost some $. As far as the bail-out, DenverMike has a point--the US (and also Canadian) taxpayers saved the company, so it should make more than an effort to keep or grow jobs in the US and Canada. I think that GM's current management has done a good job of harnessing the tailwinds since GM's near collapse to make money. That said, I also think they, like 99% of Corporate America's mgt, are GROSSLY OVERPAID. And, given that they owe their jobs to Uncle Sam, some humility is in order when it comes to executive compensation.

  • OldGMGuy OldGMGuy on May 10, 2017

    The K2XX that Oshawa is tooling for is replaced by the T1XX in late 2018 as a 2019 model. This is a stop gap strategy to cover the ramp up of the new truck and uses Fort Wayne's old body shop. It gets Oshawa 12 to 16 months of production.

  • Jeff S I rented a 2012 Chrysler 200 with the 4 cylinder from Enterprise for business travel and it was not a bad car but I would not buy one. I would have picked a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or a Ford Fusion over a Chrysler 200. I have known people that bought Chrysler 200s that had nothing but problems with them. I appreciate these old reviews and miss the old TTAC before it became what it is now with many articles that are slanted toward politics. Don't have to agree with everything but it is good to read an honest review of a car.
  • Jeff S The Cybertruck was first unveiled and announced on Nov. 21, 2019. For over 3 years Tesla has been saying that this truck was going to be released soon. The mystique and surprise is no longer there. I think the Cybertruck is hideous but then I am not the target for this. Since its initial unveiling there has been the introduction of the Lightning, Hummer, and the Rivian truck. The anticipation of this truck and the mystique has faded. There will be a few that will buy this because they are hard core Tesla fans and some because it is different but Tesla should have been the first to market an EV pickup. GM is planning a compact EV pickup under the GMC brand starting at 25 MSRP. This should have been Tesla and Tesla could have downsized the Cybertruck to either a midsize or compact truck and been first. Tesla should have been first at the very least to release a smaller EV truck.
  • Bloke Wow, this should make a big difference, to those catalytic converter thieves who don't have tools like 'angle grinders' with them.
  • Carlson Fan The way the truck drops in the rear and the bed/tailgate become a ramp is genius! I'd buy it just for that alone!!! It would be awesome for loading snowmobiles and garden tractors in the back. However, my trucks need to be able to regularly tow heavy loads long distance, summer & winter. Sorry folks, current battery tech. isn't even close to what it needs to be for me to think even one second that a battery truck could replace my current ICE powered truck. An EV for a DD makes sense , but for truck you need a MUCH better battery.
  • Inside Looking Out For midsize sedan it is too small. It basically is a compact car.
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