GM's Oshawa plant may close after Camaro production moves

  • Image Credit: GM
Most of the time, when vehicle production is moved from one assembly plant to another, it spells bad news for the former. While General Motors won't go so far as to say its Oshawa, Ontario factory, which is losing the Chevrolet Camaro to the Lansing Grand River plant, is in trouble, analysts seem to think the factory's days are numbered.

Forecasts for the facility are far from positive. The loss of the Camaro this year, combined with GM's targeted shutdown of a single-shift assembly line responsible for the fleet-only Chevy Impala Limited and the Equinox crossover is a bad enough omen. But with AutoForecast Solutions CEO Joe McCabe telling The Detroit News that the plant's other two products, the Cadillac XTS and Buick Regal, aren't likely to stick around beyond 2017, things look decidedly grim at Oshawa.

"There is a fairly strong chance that the plant could close," Jeff Schuster, senior VP of forecasting for LMC Automotive, told The Detroit News.

That doesn't mean that Unifor, Canada's auto union, and the Canadian government are going to let the factory die without a fight. And with the latter chipping in $10 billion as part of GM's 2009 bailout, you might think it has a degree of leverage in the situation. A meeting between the government and the Detroit Three at the 2015 North American International Auto Show revealed that Oshawa is already a topic of conversation.

"We made it very clear that we would like to see an indication on the future of Oshawa sooner, in particular because the timing is very challenging for our supply chain to be able to adjust to potentially future orders or changes, but also to know that there are going to be future opportunities at Oshawa," Ontario's Minister of Economic, Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid told The Detroit News.

"Bottom line: It's time they made a longer-term commitment here," Unifor President Jerry Dias said, echoing Duguid's statements. It's unclear if this sort of strong talk will be enough to save 3,300-plus employees, although based on the analysts' forecasts, we doubt it.

Chevrolet Camaro Information

Chevrolet Camaro

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