The second-generation Chevrolet Equinox has been a raging success for General Motors. The vehicle sold over 240,000 units in North America in 2012, and that’s not even taking into account sales of the Equinox’s Theta platform mate — the GMC Terrain. The crossovers have been on sale since 2010, and it’s right about that time that General Motors begins planning for their replacements, which are due sometime in 2015 or 2016.
In doing so, General Motors is looking to negotiate a new labor deal at its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, reportedly to decide whether producing the next-generation Chevrolet Equinox will be financially feasible at the facility. Earlier this week, President of Canadian Auto Workers Local 88 Dan Borthwick confirmed that GM asked to open labor negotiations early at the Ingersoll plant, whose contract is set to expire in September. In conjunction with GM’s Oshawa facility, the plant currently assembles both the Equinox and Terrain; it made 305,415 vehicles last year.
Successful negotiations, which are widely defined as being similar to the general CAW contract signed in the fall of last year, could result in GM building the next-gen Equinox and/or Terrain at the plant. The CAMI facility wasn’t covered by the CAW deal in 2012.
Getting new vehicles into any plant is usually of great importance for plant workers and management, alike, and CAMI is no exception: “There’s always concern about future products,” Borthwick said. “We can do everything we need to do here cost-wise, quality-wise and productivity-wise, and we believe if we do that we should have future generations of product.” The plant’s chapter will gather on February 10th to vote on wether to commence early negotiations with GM. Borthwick said that he hasn’t “heard any negative feedback” from members about approving early negotiations.
For the next-generation, the Equinox and Terrain are expected to move to GM’s next-generation Delta platform, dubbed D2XX shared with the Chevrolet Cruze, Buick Verano, Opel Astra, and other C-segment vehicles from General Motors. The move is part of the company’s global platform consolidation strategy, which aims to decrease complexity by cutting the amount of vehicle architectures and engines in half by 2018. Aside from allowing General Motors to become more profitable, migrating platforms will likely result in the 2015 Equinox shrinking slightly in size compared to the current model, which occupies a middle ground between compact and midsize crossovers.
Last week, GM North America President Mark Reuss stated that the automaker would soon announce $1.5 billion-worth of investments in its North American operations, but didn’t provide any specifics.