By on May 9, 2017

2016 GMC Sierra with eAssist, Image: General Motors

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. (Read More…)

By on May 2, 2017

The enduring popularity of the Chevrolet Equinox has led General Motors to some creative manufacturing approaches to keep up with demand. In addition to the crossoverÕs assembly home in Ingersoll, Ontario, GM runs a shuttle system that takes Equinox bodies to Oshawa, Ont., for painting and final production, Image: General Motors Canada

A General Motors plant once described as being on life support might not be out of the woods yet, but there’s a new ray of light at Oshawa Assembly — Canada’s oldest auto factory.

The plant’s supply of models has dwindled in recent years, with only the Chevrolet Impala and aging Cadillac XTS sharing space with the soon-to-depart Buick Regal. For years, Oshawa’s Consolidated Line handled final assembly of Chevrolet Equinox overflow models from GM’s CAMI plant, but supply will dry up this summer as the next-generation model becomes a CAMI-only deal.

Enter a hazy GM promise to deliver pickups for final assembly. While GM hasn’t confirmed that Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra models are destined for Oshawa, at least one truck certainly is. The first truck shift hasn’t yet begun, and already the local union is alerting workers to a second. (Read More…)

By on February 2, 2017

The enduring popularity of the Chevrolet Equinox has led General Motors to some creative manufacturing approaches to keep up with demand. In addition to the crossoverÕs assembly home in Ingersoll, Ontario, GM runs a shuttle system that takes Equinox bodies to Oshawa, Ont., for painting and final production, Image: General Motors Canada

There’s no hurt feelings like a city council’s hurt feelings.

Oshawa, Ontario, home to TTAC’s managing editor and General Motors Canada headquarters, is feeling a little invisible after an invite delivered last June to GM CEO Mary Barra failed to result in a visit.

The invite came at the onset of tense Detroit Three labor contract negotiations, when it seemed like Oshawa’s assembly plant was living on very borrowed time. Ultimately, the plant was granted a reprieve, though the city remains nervous about the long-term viability of the plant and GM’s commitment to it.

After seven months of being the wallflower at the dance, city councilors want some up close and personal face time. (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2016

Flint Silverado assembly plant

It looks like the prospect of getting a partial payback for its investment could have hastened the deal reached between General Motors Canada and its autoworkers’ union.

The automaker could have up to 40 percent of the money invested in its Canadian operations handed back by the Ontario and Canadian governments, according to a report in the Globe and Mail.

If the full amount is realized, it means a government cash injection of $56,410 per autoworker.
(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2016

The enduring popularity of the Chevrolet Equinox has led General Motors to some creative manufacturing approaches to keep up with demand. In addition to the crossoverÕs assembly home in Ingersoll, Ontario, GM runs a shuttle system that takes Equinox bodies to Oshawa, Ont., for painting and final production, Image: General Motors Canada

General Motors of Canada workers are heading to the ballot boxes Sunday to vote on a plan that will bring final production of 70,000 trucks a year to Oshawa and new engine production to St. Catharines.

Vote tallies are expected Sunday evening.

(Read More…)

By on September 20, 2016

Flint Silverado assembly plant

Shortly after the stroke of midnight, Jerry Dias and the rest of the Unifor-GM bargaining committee sat down in front of reporters immediately after marathon negotiations. Dias, the president of Unifor, was elated.

“I am pleased to announce to our members … that we have found a solution for your facilities,” he said to Oshawa workers through the media and the press conference live stream.

Indeed, Oshawa was saved.

That’s not to say there won’t be some pain — the Consolidated Line at Oshawa will still close on schedule in 2017 when GM begins production of a redesigned Equinox, and the union made some pension concessions — but, at least for now, the clouds have parted over one of Canada’s longest-standing auto-producing towns.

Yet, the announcement raised more questions as it answered. And there are two major unknowns yet to be revealed: the products allocated to the Oshawa and St. Catharines plants.

(Read More…)

By on September 20, 2016

Jerry Dias, Unifor President, Image: OFL Communications Department (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

After contract negotiations went right down to the midnight deadline, GM Canada and autoworkers union Unifor reached a tentative deal last night, averting a looming strike at Canadian GM plants.

Bargaining teams from the automaker and Unifor, which represents Detroit Three workers in Canada, reached what union boss Jerry Dias called “a framework for a tentative agreement.” Not only does the deal avert a shutdown at three Ontario GM facilities, it saves the threatened century-old Oshawa assembly plant.

No jobs will be lost, and a new (but unnamed) product will go into production in Oshawa. (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2016

2015 GMC Terrain

GM Canada and the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers north of the border have entered their final day of contract talks ahead of a midnight strike deadline.

Unless both sides achieve a breakthrough today, there’s little reason to believe a walkout at the company’s Oshawa, Woodstock and St. Catharines, Ontario facilities won’t occur as the clock strikes twelve.  (Read More…)

By on September 17, 2016

The enduring popularity of the Chevrolet Equinox has led General Motors to some creative manufacturing approaches to keep up with demand. In addition to the crossoverÕs assembly home in Ingersoll, Ontario, GM runs a shuttle system that takes Equinox bodies to Oshawa, Ont., for painting and final production, Image: General Motors Canada

With GM Canada and Detroit Three autoworkers union Unifor making little headway in contract negotiations, the possibility of government subsidies has raised its head.

At week’s end, the two sides were reportedly far apart as the clock ticks down to possible strike action at midnight on September 19. With General Motors as its strike target, Unifor lists new investment and product at the endangered Oshawa assembly plant as its number one demand.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Canadian workers’ union boss is encouraged by talk of indirect federal government intervention. (Read More…)

By on August 9, 2016

Michigan Assembly Plant Launches C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid

Detroit Three automakers need to invest in their Canadian operations or it’s no deal, the president of the union representing hourly workers said yesterday.

Contract talks kick off tomorrow between the automakers and Unifor, but a cloud already hangs over the negotiations in the form of recent threats of a strike and GM’s reluctance to talk about its Oshawa plant’s future.  (Read More…)

By on June 16, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Last week’s General Motors announcement in Oshawa, Ontario felt like an olive branch being extended to the worried community, but workers and the city itself are now asking for the full meal.

The threatened Oshawa Car Assembly plant has no mandate to produce vehicles beyond 2017, and the announcement of 700 high-tech engineering jobs scattered around southern Ontario (and some in the north) didn’t do anything to calm fears of its impending closure. (Read More…)

By on June 10, 2016

GM Canada Technical Centre

General Motors Canada announced today, along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, that it will bolster engineering and software development efforts in Canada with a 700-job strong hiring initiative.

The work in question will focus on autonomous driving software and controls, connected vehicle tech, active safety and vehicle dynamics technology. (Read More…)

By on June 9, 2016

GM Oshawa Plant Closure

Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the union that represents workers at Detroit Three operations in Canada, has stated in no uncertain terms there will be a strike if Oshawa is not given a mandate to produce vehicles beyond 2017, reports the Financial Post.

The latest barb comes before a scheduled press conference this Friday when General Motors Canada is expected to announce 1,000 engineering jobs for the company’s connected and driverless vehicle research and development.

(Read More…)

By on October 21, 2015

2014_Chevrolet-Impala-LTZ-tug-boat

General Motors is getting pickier about where it does business and the products it sells. Could that also translate to where it will build its products in the future?

In a recent piece from Automotive News’ Mike Colias, the trade publication paints a bleak picture for one of General Motors’ longest running nameplates. The subject was Impala and the question was whether the car named after an African antelope, while well received by the automotive press, could survive the guillotine in a market that increasingly prefers crossovers and SUVs over sedans.

“We have a broad portfolio. But how are we going to look at what are the right vehicles to put in the marketplace? We’ll look at what makes sense and what will generate a return,” General Motors CEO Mary Barra told Automotive News earlier this month.

Naturally, Colias brought up Impala, and the reply stopped short of commitment to the car and the segment.

(Read More…)

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