Today’s highly-variable auto market calls for very different production approaches compared to those of the 80s and 90s. Among the present-day best practices of automotive manufacturing is the ability of a single production line to build a variety of vehicles, from sedans to SUVs — and anything in between.
As such, we thought it poignant to mention that the ever-popular Chevy Equinox mid-size crossover and Impala full-size sedan are built on the same line at GM’s Oshawa facilities in Ontario Canada.
Called the Flex line, the assembly process is so flexible (pun intended) that the line is capable of making models built on completely different platforms: the Equinox rides on a revised version of GM’s Theta platform while the Impala uses the W-body architecture that’s been around for more than two decades. That should give GM nay-sayers something to chew on as they praise the manufacturing flexibility and prowess of Honda and Toyota.
With over 10 million square feet (930,000 m²) of factory floor, Oshawa Car Assembly resulted from the integration of two car plants in 2008, whereupon it was converted to a state-of-the-art Flexible Manufacturing facility. It currently employs nearly 5,400 hourly employees and 400 salaries employees.