General Motors has issued an official statement after meeting the Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments over its forthcoming job cuts in the region.
In the statement, the automaker indicated that it intends to retain a manufacturing presence in Ontario going forward and will continue to invest in new projects and existing facilities, such as its Canadian Technology Center in Markham just north of Toronto.
“In meetings in Detroit, GM told the federal and Ontario governments that it intends to continue to be a major manufacturer in Canada with its Ingersoll and St Catharines plants and continue to expand next generation automotive engineering, software and testing work in Oshawa, Markham, Kapuskasing and soon in the Toronto,” the automaker said.
GM also reaffirmed to government representatives that it does not have a viable business case to keep producing the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala at its Oshawa Assembly past the end of this year, citing “rapid changes in the North American car market, the cancellation of Oshawa products and persistent low utilization at the plant,” as its reasoning.
The automaker decided to discontinue the slow-selling XTS and Impala due to a shift in consumer demand from sedans to crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks. It also killed off five other vehicles at the same time and closed two production plants in Michigan. These moves and other cost cutting measures were made by GM as it looks to streamline and simplify its business in an effort to boost profits and raise its stock price.
Canadian labor union Unifor, which represents employees at Oshawa Assembly, has turned to protesting GM’s decision after attempting to bargain with the automaker to keep the plant open. Unifor’s proposals to GM included keeping the Impala in production beyond 2019 or allocating it new product that would otherwise be sent to Mexico.