The agreement will “transition the GM Oshawa Assembly operations to parts manufacturing and advanced vehicle testing,” according to a press released the automaker issued this week. The 300 jobs that will be retained is a far cry from the thousands that will be lost, but one aspect of the agreement should provide a semblance of hope for those living in the Oshawa area.
According to Automotive News Canada, GM has agreed to maintain the line at Oshawa Assembly, along with the plant’s advanced paint shop. This makes it less expensive for GM to resume production at the plant should it ever need additional capacity again. Oshawa Assembly is also a flex line (meaning it can build more than one vehicle type on a single line), which makes allocating a new product there less expensive.
AN Canada points to GM’s Spring Hill plant in Tennessee as an example of a once-idled flex line plant that was maintained and then later brought back to life. GM closed the doors on the facility in 2009 following its bankruptcy, only to bring it back to life for a lowly $61 million in 2011. Today Spring Hill builds the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia.
For the time being, though, Oshawa Assembly will simply serve as a parts manufacturing site and will stamp some parts for the nearby CAMI plant in Ingersoll. GM is also building a new autonomous and advanced vehicle test track on the factory’s large plot of land, expanding the presence of its Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) operations.
Source: Automotive News Canada