GM to shutter assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont.
The plant, which employs more than 2,500 workers, produces cars such as the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac XTS.
Automaker General Motors plans to close its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont. in 2019 as part of a global reorganization that will see the company focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.
The plant employs approximately 2,500 workers, although it’s not yet clear how many will lose their jobs under the restructuring strategy, which is designed to lower carbon emissions and prepare for a future of electric and autonomous vehicles.
Detroit-based GM has not yet set a timetable for the production halt at the Oshawa plant, but confirmed it will take place sometime in 2019. The automaker also said it is exploring options to retool the facility.
In a Nov. 25 news conference in Detroit, GM’s chair and CEO Mary Barra said that the action to transform its product line and manufacturing process will save the company an estimated US$6 billion by 2020. She also said GM will reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 per cent, which includes 25 per cent fewer executives.
“This industry is changing very rapidly when you look at all of the transformative technology – be it propulsion, autonomous driving, connectivity sharing – and we want to make sure we’re well positioned,” she said.
Barra also said that, in addition to the Oshawa plant, GM would be terminating production at two other complexes in the U.S. – one in Detroit and one in Warren, Ohio. GM propulsion plants in White Marsh, Maryland and Warren, Michigan will also be shut.
In a statement, Unifor, the union representing auto workers at the plant, protested the decision. “Based on commitments made during 2016 contract negotiations, Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit of that agreement,” the union said.
The Oshawa plant, where GM Canada has its headquarters, produces the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac XTS cars, along with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.
The complex is one of three GM manufacturing facilities in Ontario, along with St. Catharines and Ingersoll.
GM bought the Oshawa plant in 1953 from McLaughlin Buicks.