• Dec 7, 2009
2010 Chevrolet Equinox – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's safe to say that 2009 has been the most difficult year in the 101-year history of General Motors. But while most of the news coming out of GM has been tough to swallow, the Detroit, MI-based automaker has had one very good piece of news: its new products are faring well in the marketplace. And of all the new products GM brought to market this year, none has higher volume than its Theta-based crossovers built at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and the GMC Terrain have been successful enough that The General has added a third shift, scheduled regular overtime for the rank and file and even spent $93 million on a new body shop to increase production capacity by 40,000 units per year.

But GM was spending big bucks and building very important vehicles at a plant that it jointly owned with partner Suzuki. Well, GM changed that last week when it announced that it was buying Suzuki's stake in the Canadian facility. GM has not disclosed the amount of money it paid to take over full interest of the facility, but we're guessing the total wasn't nearly as much as the cost of a new plant, which can cost over $1 billion. But while the news was good for GM and the people of Ingersoll, we're guessing the folks who work at closing plant in the U.S. aren't all that happy about this development. Hit the jump to read over GM's brief press release.



[Source: General Motors]

PRESS RELEASE:


Oshawa, ON - General Motors of Canada Limited today announced that it will acquire 100 percent ownership of CAMI Automotive Incorporated (CAMI) through a purchase transaction to buy shares currently owned by long-time partner Suzuki Motor Corporation.

CAMI recently led GM's highly successful North American launch of the all-new Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain and is rapidly expanding capacity to meet the strong customer demand for these popular and fuel-efficient compact crossovers.

"GM Canada recognizes that the culture and values of the CAMI workforce have played a key role in producing world class vehicles," said Arturo Elias, president of GM Canada. "Bringing CAMI completely into the GM family is a strong vote of confidence in the people there and builds on the recent positive news at the plant since the highly successful launch of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain."

In November alone, sales for these vehicles increased over 17 percent. To keep up with demand, GM is rapidly expanding capacity at CAMI through scheduled overtime, the recent addition of a third shift and commencement of a C$90M body shop expansion to increase capacity by an additional 40,000 vehicles annually - great news for GM, the employees at CAMI and the community in Ingersoll, Ontario.


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  • 31 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      How is the Equinox or Terrain any less "sound" than the Legacy (which isn't CUV) or the Tuscon and Sorento (which aren't on sale yet)?
      • 5 Years Ago
      good news for GM but I still don't think it was the right move..This is the type of stuff old GM did, why spend 93M to pump up more Equinox's while acquiring more debt and overhead in the process....They should be as lean as possible instead of over flooding the market again...
      • 5 Years Ago
      how quickly GM forget! Why expanding while you are still deep in the ditch? Another thing is: whenever GM buys, it is bound to buy high, when GM sells, it is bound to sell low or nothing, like Saturn, SAAB, Hummer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, whoop-de-friggin-do for Motor Trend. If the Outback is an SUV then so was the Freestyle/Taurus X.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jimbo,

        The sales numbers are very whimsical for cars, after you expand your production the number will be way down, then GM will face the old issue of overcapacity. Besides, there are better, sound products out there waiting for customers, such as Tucson, Sorento, Legacy and etc. The better decision for GM is stay in the course, produce as many as they can using current capacity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe I am mistaken Outback with Legacy. The former is Motor Trend SUV of year. The selling point of the twin CUVs are the claimed 32 MPG, which I highly doubt, As for the vehicle themselves they are no better than the 4 years old CR-V and RAV4.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Indeed, that's how distressed sellers work. Porsche ended up having to sell their entire company!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't want to rain on anybody's parade, but purchasing the CAMI plant makes no sense. GM has redundant plant capacity coming out its ears.

      Would have been nice if GM repaid U.S. and Canadian taxpayers before buying additional surplus capacity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It makes perfect sense. Yes, GM has lots of other plants but it would cost a lot more to retool and staff one of those plants. Meanwhile, the existing plant that the Equinox and Terrain are built at has extra capacity because Suzuki discontinued the XL7. It makes no sense to retool and staff another factory if the current one isn't being run at full capacity. So purchasing Suzuki's portion of CAMI was the most logical decision.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow - this was in the news last week. Nice scoop.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, better late than never. Some people don't read news other than Autoblog! And I quit the Freep 30 years ago!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Subliminal advertising...Autoblog style.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow GM, so you built a better mouse trap, and you are then able to actually employ your workers and possibly even earn a profit?!?
      Who would have thunk it!

      Imagine if GM management made similar GOOD decisions back in the 80s and 90s and produced competitive cars and trucks and not relying simply on rebates to get them to move! The automotive landscape would be completely different today.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They made a lot of good cars in the 90s. Not all of their vehicles, but many good ones. The 80s, er, um, not so much.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 90s were 10 years long. I didn't say a high percentage, but when you release 80 cars, you get some right, even GM.

        The Malibu was a good car. Bland? Sure, but that never seemed to stop the Accord or Camry, no reason to disqualify them for that.

        The first Saturns (1991-1995, SC and SL) were excellent, even the SW wagon wasn't bad! Good (not great) shifter, great clutch, very reliable and easy to service motor, and worry-free exterior. The SL in the second half of the decade was pretty good, although the interior had gone downhill.

        I liked the first Aurora, the second one didn't look as good but my understanding is it was a better car.

        The Nova/Prizm was great (and of course it was a Corolla).

        My point wasn't that GM was batting a thousand, but that they weren't batting zero. There were good GM cars, people who dismissed them out of hand were doing themselves a disfavor. Then again, those who bought GM cars without looking closely often could end up with crap (like the GM minivans), so you had to be careful.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ^ I can't really agree with "a lot".

        I was always a fan of the Cadillac STS, but even that didn't have the quality or performance to compete with the Germans like the CTS can today.

        Sure their trucks were good, but in the large SUV segment there wasn't that much competition.

        The Malibu and their other mid-sizers was bland beyond belief.

        The Olds Aurora had hints of greatness that only partially came through - and then they actually made it worse with the 2nd-gen model.

        The Vette was of course great, but one great car does not a competitive car company make.

        What other cars would you consider "good" from that era? (and I would consider "good" to be more than just competitive... cars that people actually wanted to to buy and drive)
      • 5 Years Ago
      LOL. Your US tax/TARP dollars at work, supporting Canadian production!
      Still, all politics is local...this will also help US component production and cross-border transportation jobs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe you SHOULD read the news a little more TigerMil, because Canada put in a significant amount of Cash into GM as well, and owns a percentage of GM too.

        I want to see the US production lines busy with production as much as anybody else, but I'm not going to Cry in my Beer over 1 plant or another. There are plenty of US based companies supporting the CAMI operation.

        Bottom line is that GM making good vehicles that are desirable and sell, so that they can re-pay those loans to the tax payers on both sides of the boarder.

        By the way, GM is investing in the US as well for the small cars and the Volt
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't hold your breath. The US dollar is tanking badly - down from C$1.30 in January to C$1.06 today. 24% of GM's profits have quickly disappeared with the stroke of a pen.

        Keep making those Equinox's and, by George (or is that Queen Elizabeth now?), we'll bring GM to its knees by early next quarter. Somebody, better seriously rethink this insane idea of fanning the flames on the fire.

        Sure, GM sells a lot of Equinox's (and Camaros) now. But are they making a profit, or digging a deeper hole fro themselves?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Canada contributed more than the US if you look at it GDP wise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jamie: two years ago the Candian dollar was worth more than the US dollar.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601083&refer=currency&sid=aDBegmV7h0cU

        Why do dollar boo-birds always pick a starting point that exaggerates things such as to make them look right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Congrats on the success with the Equinox, it's a good vehicle and well received.

      I hope the Cruze can do as well. Crossovers are very important and will continue to sell (especially with >30mpg ratings!) but small 4 doors matter a ton too and GM hasn't been at the top of that game since the 1970s.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm biased because I don't like the interior on that Civic, although otherwise it's fine.

        I don't get what people see in the Corolla. The current Corolla doesn't seem to blow away the Cobalt to me. The motor possibly lasts longer (tough to tell, there aren't many 2006s with 200,000 miles on them yet) but that's not quite obvious when you look at them new on the lot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        1990s technology? 00 technology?

        Please explain exactly what that means because it sounds like a steaming load of crap.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota motor being better? Maybe. Depends on if it sludges or not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. The Equinox is a great vehicle, and deserves as much praise as it's been getting if not more.

        For as much flak as the Cobalt got (whether it was just or not) it was at least a step in the right direction, albeit a small one. Hopefully they can put the keep up the Malibu/Equinox trend with the Cruze.
        • 5 Years Ago
        John: You drive around without an oil change for years and see how much sludge you get.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Cobalt was 1990s technology competing in the current decade. The Cruze is 2003 technology competing in the teens. The Cruze is going to suffer the same fleet-status as the Cobalt and it's Korean counterparts because of this. Heck, I don't even see Cobalts in rental fleets much - they're just that bad. It was not a decent effort. By any stretch. The Cruze, unfortunately, is just catching up to 2003-5.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Put a 2006 Civic next to a Cruze and you'll see what I mean. Or a 2003-2008 Corolla. The Cobalt competed well against those two (
        • 5 Years Ago
        Technology isn't the #1 thing that makes a good car. GM had distributorless ignition for a decade before the Civic got it, and yet the Civic was the better car.

        I've driven a Cobalt, it's not nearly as bad as you say. I'll admit, the rental versions are no fun at all, but they aren't as ghastly as you make out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I dont get what people see in the Corolla either. The sentra is a much better car... and the Cobalt is too. They both handle better and have more power available to them than the Corolla.

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