President and managing director of General Motors Canada, Stephen Carlisle, said Wednesday the future of the automaker’s Oshawa plant won’t be decided until “well into 2016.” According to the National Post, this paints a gloomy picture of the factory’s fate, as production commitments made by GM to the Canadian government will be expired by then, giving them more flexibility to close production lines and lay off workers.
Production of the Chevrolet Camaro will move from Oshawa to Lansing, Michigan this year in time for the sixth-generation model to be built, while Oshawa’s consolidated line, which builds the Equinox and Impala, will be closed down in 2016. GM has yet to announce production of a new vehicle at the plant, and it could be at least a year until they drop any info in regards to its future.
“In any business, especially one as large and complex as an automotive company, there are detailed planning processes before investment and product decisions are made,” Carlisle said in a statement Wednesday.
“We must pay attention to how dramatically economic factors are fluctuating these days — some of which we can control or predict more than others. We are ‘doubling down’ on efforts to find efficiencies and we will be working with all our partners to address issues and build on our strengths,” he said.
Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the union representing Oshawa plant workers, said GM needs to make a decision before 2016. According to him, the union needs “short-term solutions,” and GM needs “to make a commitment, they need to do something to settle everybody down, our members as well as the two levels of government.”