Construction Work Begins At GM Oshawa Assembly Plant21
Construction work at General Motors‘ Oshawa Assembly plant in southern Ontario is already underway as the automaker preps the facility to build its line of light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks.
Scott Bell, president and managing director of GM Canada , told Automotive News this week that renovation work at GM Oshawa Assembly has already begun and the plant is on-pace to undergo one of the fastest facility transformations in the company’s history.
GM Canada and Candian labor union Unifor reached a new contract agreement earlier this month that will see the automaker invest between $1 billion and $1.3 billion CAD in GM Oshawa Assembly to begin producing light- and heavy-duty versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks there. The investment will go toward the construction of a new body shop and flexible assembly module at the sprawling Ontario plant, along with some other miscellaneous line upgrades.
Bell said the plan to produce pickups at Oshawa Assembly has been in the works for some time now and said GM has long-term plans for the facility, which was shut down in 2019 after the Chevy Impala and Cadillac XTS were discontinued.
“Construction has already started. This is not something we dreamed up a few weeks ago,” Bell told AN. “This is has been going on for quite some time. This is a full-blown investment. This is building a body shop. This is unique in a sense we’re building our bodies. We’re serious about having this flexibility and capacity for quite some time here. That’s where the billion-plus (investment figure) comes from.”
Oshawa Assembly is GM’s third pickup truck production plant, joining Flint Assembly in Michigan and Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana. The Flint plant builds the Chevy Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD, while Fort Wayne handles production of the light duty versions of the two pickups. The Oshawa Assembly plant is unique in that it will build the Silverado HD and Sierra HD alongside the light duty versions of the trucks.
“Showrooms are sitting at less than 50% of what they would like to be,” Unifor leader Jerry Dias said earlier this month. “The pandemic has thrown a curve into the auto industry, so (GM is) looking for opportunities to maximize the (production) capacity.”
GM Canada has not said how many jobs it expects the Oshawa Assembly investment to help create, although Unifor has said it expects every one job at the plant to help create an additional seven supplier jobs elsewhere in the country. GM Canada has also already begun recruiting for various leadership positions at the plant, which is expected to begin producing trucks in early 2022.
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Canadian dollar vs US dollar, only reason they close a plant, and re-open it. Don’t remember that happening in the US. When they say it’s closed here, turn the lights off, get out.
Check out the number of JD Power awards that the Oshawa plant has won
They now realize how important Canadian works are.Welcome back GM.
GM finally realized the value of this great assembly plant.
Great to see this ! My last 2500HD Diesel was built here. I’m waiting for a 1500 AT4 probably from Mexico. My next one I will make sure it is Canadian or U.S. built. I almost left GM because of the Oshawa closing but have loyalty to my dealer of 30years.
Sure the value of the two respective dollars figures into the whole picture but we’ve seen all too often that fluctuates up and down. IF the information in this article is indeed correct, it sure looks like they wanted to eliminate legacy costs tied to their hourly and salary costs. Clean house and start all over again at the lowest possible wage and minimal benefits for an 8 year grow in to full wages on both sides of that hourly / salary fence. Shame! A lot of experience and skills walked out of those gates that won’t return. That negotiated contract meant nothing to GM brass. That only casts doubt and mistrust in all future endeavours. Shame on you Greedy Motors GM brass and shareholders.
I’m curious, how old is the picture that was used in this article? My guess is 40-50 years. Do you not have something more current, to reflect current conditions. Never worked for GM but have taken many tours of the plant and was always amazed by the level of professionalism and pride exhibited while going through the facility.
atleast 20 years old the new paint shop isnt in the picture, also the chimney for the power house was removed 3 years ago ish
Congrats Oshawa…great news for the City and its workers…….make a good product, be proud of that quality and don’t let politics get in the way OR silly occasional Union pride. Congrats to Diaz and to all people involved from both sides that made this work. Personally, I could never afford one and can only dream. Canadian made vehicles rock! Great initiative from ALL involved GM and UNIFOR
While it’s a nice idea the average person won’t buy a giant truck when they can’t put food on their table. I feel like this is a huge mistake. Who makes these decisions?
Essential workers are swamped with work and money!!!
Poor research in this article; GM builds pickups in Mexico in addition to Flint & Ft Wayne. Mexico started pickups after GM shut down the Oshawa truck plant and later tore down the building.
I’m shocked that no one has asked the obvious… Who’s going to be buying a big truck during a pandemic? Seems like a very unwise financial decision. GM would be better off investing in something else for the area. This is 100% going to flop.
Cali, you should look at the actual sales figures especially during the last 10 months during this pandemic. Drive by several dealerships and tell us what you see. Around Southwestern Ontario, lots are fairly empty. Trucks and SUVs are flying off the lots. If not customer ordered, these vehicles are sold within a week of delivery. Truck forums and social media groups are full of people complaining they’re waiting 1 to 10 months for delivery of their trucks. I think you need to do your research and rethink your criticism.
Big trucks are pretty much all we sell, and we don’t have enough right now, this is welcome news!
While I am sure you are correct, the problem is that that data is based on the fact that people are still collecting “free” money while being on cerb. Many are scamming the system with money to burn. As the CRA finally cracks down on these individuals, they will need to pay back most of what was taken. Cerb will end and many people will be moving and selling their second cars or homes to make ends meet. While in a perfect world your numbers will be right – they certainly won’t be as we head into a deep recession.
There is nothing free about cerb payments. Everyone collecting paid into the E.I. system. That’s their own money. I can assure you that nobody is buying a pick up truck when their only income is $2,000 per month. You know how expensive the cost of living is. As far as the alleged fraud goes. Those stats are very wrong. The yearly income level is much lower to qualify for cerb than the income level that requires you to file income tax. I believe the difference is about $15,000 per year. It’s that discrepancy that is generating these fraud allegations. They’ll spend millions of tax dollars chasing a few hundred true fraudsters. None of which bought a pick up truck. Besides, production won’t start till early 2022. I doubt cerb will still be happening then.
The huge majority of sales occur in the US. There they got $1,200. Nobody bought a new pick up truck with that one time payment. Sales are up because a lot of people want or need new trucks. Many were forced to sell their homes or walk away from them. Some of those people bought campers to live in full time. Many of those needed new trucks to tow those campers. Nobody knows what future sales will do. Not you and certainly not I. Time will tell if GM made a smart decision this time.
Yes, true,, can’t keep silverados on the lot, hot selling vehicles, sometimes with huge mark ups. Trailboss is the worst for markups. 40k online, at the dealer, 50k!!!
They closed the plants to get rid of the “GM” employees so they could hire contract workers at half the pay!
That’s the only reason GM did what it did.
Why is Jerry Dias even mentioned in this story? He’s a union guy not a car guy. He couldn’t care less about GM
Funny that there is no mention of the fact that they already built the current 1500’s in Oshawa for about a year, starting in 2018. That was after a year-long construction project to build a brand-new truck assembly line in 2017, which i understand is being mostly scrapped to build the trucks in a different part of the plant…