General Motors has remained silent in regards to its manufacturing operations at its consolidated assembly line in Oshawa, Ontario. The automaker said it remains committed to Canadian investments, The Globe and Mail reports, but has made no specific announcements in regards to building vehicles at the plant in the future.
Oshawa Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid, along with Candian Federal industry Minister James Moore, met with GM CEO Mary Barra and GM Canada president Steve Carlisle in Detroit to discuss the company’s Canadian manufacturing ventures. Duguid said he’s “more optimistic” the Oshawa plant will land a future mandate following his meeting with Barra, even though the company has yet to outline any future opportunities.
A spokesperson for Moore said the meeting was “positive” and that the Canadian government looks forward to working with GM on future vehicle manufacturing operations. Concerns the Oshawa plant would close arose after GM failed to allocate production of any new vehicles to the plant. The vehicles currently manufactured there will eventually be discontinued or have their manufacturing operations shifted elsewhere, like the Chevrolet Camaro, for example. GM also made a production commitment with the Canadian government following its bailout in 2009, which expires in 2016, leaving it little reason to stick around.
Producing vehicles in Canada is more expensive than in the United States, Mexico or other countries. The Globe and Mail says costs of electricity, regulations, labor and the transportation of vehicles into the United States and other markets from Canada contribute to the higher expense. Canada’s dollar has dropped in value as of late, making it cheaper for American corporations to operate there, however Barra said currency fluctuations will have no impact on GM’s future production decisions.