In May, General Motors announced that it would invest $170 million CAD in the Oshawa Assembly plant, converting the former vehicle assembly facility into a parts production site and advanced vehicle test center.
Now the automaker has provided a little more information on the coming transformation of the long-standing southern Ontario site, outlining its plans to turn it into “a key technology centre in Canada’s auto sector.”
Likely requiring the most investment will be the 55 acre Oshawa Test Track, which will be constructed toward southern end of the factory. GM says the engineers working at the facility will “develop software and hardware for autonomous vehicle systems, embedded controls, active safety systems and infotainment.”
Moving inside the factory, the automaker is retooling parts of the plant in order to support parts stamping, related vehicle sub-assembly and other “miscellaneous activities,” for GM and “other auto industry customers,” it says. This part of the plan will retain 300 jobs in the plant – a far cry from the 2,000 plus unionized workers that once worked there, but certainly better than nothing.
For those working age employees who won’t be returning to work at the factory, GM says it has also identified “relocation opportunities to GM facilities in St. Catharines and Woodstock Ontario,” and plans on providing more details to those eligible employees next month. Similarly, it has put aside some money to give former hourly and salaried Oshawa Assembly workers access to retaining programs that will allow them to pursue further education for a future job placement.
Employees who are interested in being re-trained are encouraged to attend the “Jobs Action Centre” event Oshawa Assembly in August. The event “will help eligible GM employees and their families plan now for the transition to new work opportunities following the end of Oshawa Assembly vehicle production at the end of 2019,” the company said.
More than half of Oshawa’s hourly employees are expected to retire on their GM defined benefit pension. These employees will also receive a lump sum payment (which varies based on their seniority and other factors), a voucher for a new GM vehicle and paid training support should they wish to continue their careers in a new role with another company.
Lastly, GM also donated 87 acres of parkland to the city of Oshawa, including a piece of Lake Ontario waterfront land.
You can click here to read the full overview, via GM Canada.