The union voted to ratify its new contract with GM Canada this week, which includes a $1.3 billion investment for GM Oshawa Assembly to begin building both light and heavy duty pickup trucks at the southern Ontario facility. In addition, the contract will see the automaker invest $109 million in the GM St. Catharines Powertrain plant in order to “in-source new transmission work for the Corvette and support continued V8 engine production,” at the facility.
It’s not clear if this transmission work will relate to the current TR-9080 version of the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission found in the C8 Corvette Stingray, or if it’s for a new version of the transmission for an upcoming variant of the mid-engine sports car. GM says it is in-sourcing work for the transmission, however, which could mean that it is taking over part of the manufacturing process from Tremec, the Wixom, Michigan-based company that currently manufactures the quick-shifting DCT.
Chevy has several new C8 Corvette model variants in the works that could require a slightly different style of transmission, including the upcoming flat plane crank V8-powered Corvette Z06 and hybrid Corvette E-Ray.
The GM St. Catharines Powertrain plant currently manufactures the GF6 six-speed automatic transmission, however, this transmission is set to go out of production in the coming months. Unifor was therefore hoping to secure new product for the St. Catharines facility in the pattern bargaining process with GM, which it has now received in the way of the C8 Corvette transmission work.
In addition to the transmissions, the facility is also responsible for making the GM 5.3L L84 V8 and GM 6.2L L87 V8 engines, which used in the Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, among many other GM products. These engines will continue to be built at the facility for the foreseeable future following the $109 million investment.