With the investment, the flex line will be able to accommodate both cars and pickup trucks, making it the only facility in North America capable of producing both. And, for some time, we’ve known a truck or SUV would be the new product heading to the plant.
Automotive News reports the truck is likely the Chevrolet Silverado after a memo circulated to Unifor members shed light on the Oshawa plant’s future. Specifically, the memo stated 500 new jobs would be added and workers have the option to join truck production after the Equinox moves to the CAMI facility in Canada. Following the addition of these jobs, the Unifor memo stated additional truck jobs would be added in 2018.
“The second shift in Truck will be launched in the second quarter of 2018. At this time it is forecast that another 500 jobs will be added to Truck,” the memo read.
The report states Chevrolet Silverado bodies will be shipped from Fort Wayne, Indiana for final assembly at the Oshawa plant. Neither Unifor nor GM Canada have confirmed this, but the union said the ability to produce pickups will allow the plant “to meet unmet demand in a critical market segment.”
The new agreement may get even more interesting should talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement turn sour. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said it hopes to have a new deal in place by mid-2018.