Report: GM to Close Oshawa Operations

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
report gm to close oshawa operations

CTV News in Canada is reporting that General Motors is shutting the doors at its Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant.

The plant, located about 37 miles (60 kilometers or so) east of Toronto, hosts about 2,500 union jobs and around 300 salaried jobs. GM has other employees in the Ontario cities of Ingersoll, Markham, and St. Catharines, but it’s not clear if any jobs in those areas will be affected. The population of Oshawa is around 159,000.

General Motors has had as many as 40,000 employees working in and around Oshawa in the past, though employment levels dwindled in the recent past.

The closure is expected to be part of a larger, global restructuring by GM. Reports on social media suggest that restructuring tied to the development of zero emission and autonomous vehicles will affect plants in other countries, and that Oshawa will remain open until the end of 2019.

That may or may not be the case. There could be other factors at play, such as the cost of Canadian labor, changes to free-trade agreements, and corporate efforts to streamline production.

Oshawa may also simply not be needed. There’s not much product being built there now, with nothing obvious on the horizon.

An announcement is expected Monday.

Oshawa’s outgoing mayor, John Henry, hopes the report is incorrect. He told CTV Toronto’s Miranda Anthistle that he’s “hoping it’s just a rumor.”

Oshawa currently builds the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala and performs final assembly of the old-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The list of vehicles once built there is long, with the most notable being the Chevrolet Camaro, assembled north of the border until 2015. The Buick Regal and Chevrolet Equinox were built there as recently as 2017.

“My entire family has worked at General Motors,” Henry told CTV. “My dad was a foreman in the plant. I have two brothers in the plant. My sister worked there in university. I worked there as a contractor.”

“It’s very different now than when I was growing up, when everyone you knew was working in the plant,” he said. “We’ve diversified and we have a lot of other things going on,” he added. “But the car industry is still a big part of our community.”

This story is developing and details are scarce – we’ll have a fuller report tomorrow once GM has made its announcement.

Hat tip to commenter Mikey!

[Image: GM]

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2 of 56 comments
  • Bruce Yeager Bruce Yeager on Nov 26, 2018

    Good thing gas prices will always be 2.20 a gallon. Who needs small cars? Americans love big trucks!

  • Ravenuer Ravenuer on Nov 26, 2018

    On a related note, I just spotted a headline on the net that said GM just announced the elimination of 14,000 jobs in the US.

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.