Many Canadians are worried about the fate of the Oshawa Assembly facility in the near future, so this news should come as a slight sigh of relief. No, the decision to build the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro in Lansing won’t be reversed, but it’s still something.
GM Canada President and Managing Director Steve Carlisle today announced the General will invest $12-million to boost Chevrolet Equinox production on the consolidated production line at Oshawa Assembly, and for similar changes to the body shop at CAMI Assembly.
The company says the investment in Ontario-based production will help meet strong North American demand for Chevrolet’s popular crossover, while the cash infusion also extends plans for ongoing Oshawa Assembly Consolidated Line production to 2017.
“This new investment represents a very effective way for us to meet strong demand for the Chevrolet Equinox and it’s positive news for our community. We are focused on delivering great products for our customers,” said Carlise in a GM press release.
The cash will help build on GM’s unique Ontario Equinox “shuttle program” and enables the company to ramp up production in a quick and cost-effective manner. The program was first established in 2010 as a joint initiative between GM’s Ingersoll CAMI and Oshawa Assembly.
According to the company, CAMI’s Body Shop produces extra Equinox units beyond the plant’s existing capacity to paint and assemble them, and the assembled vehicles are then shipped to Oshawa for paint and assembly.
Oshawa currently produces the Equinox and the last-generation Chevrolet Impala on the Consolidated Line, as well as the Buick Regal, current Chevrolet Impala, fifth-generation Camaro, and Cadillac XTS on its Flex Line.
GM Canada expects the shift in Camaro production will not require layoffs due to the use of incentivized retirement programs.
GM’s Oshawa and St. Catherine’s plants have enjoyed over $800-million in investments over the past three years, and the company recently earmarked a further $800 for CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario.