General Motors Canada and Unifor have just announced a new deal that will help keep the GM Oshawa Assembly plant open, and save at least some jobs. The move will transition the plant from assembly to manufacturing, and expand the company's autonomous vehicle development capability.
GM said that it will spend around $170 million to transform the plant, which currently builds sedans and pickups for GM, into a new role. The facility will become focused on stamping, manufacturing parts instead of full cars, plus sub-assemblies related to those parts. This would be for GM parts, but also for other auto industry customers.
It won't be stampings for brand new vehicles, said Unifor President Jerry Dias. Instead, the plant will build panels for vehicles once those models are no longer being built. Dias said that automakers are required to produce parts for vehicles 10 years after they're built and that GM will build those parts, or some of them, in Oshawa.
MORE RELATED ARTICLES
"This transformation plan is very significant as it positions Oshawa for a sustainable future. This agreement maximizes the support for our people and their families, and further secures Oshawa as a key in developing vehicles of the future at our new test track," said GM Canada President Travis Hester. Vehicle assembly will still end in December.
GM will also convert 55 acres of the facility into a test track for the development of autonomous vehicles and other advanced technology vehicles. That expands the capability of the GM Canadian Technical Center located nearby. The automaker also intends to donate 90 acres of park and wildlife preserve to the City of Oshawa.
This new business will retain 300 of the approximately 2,600 current jobs in Oshawa, GM says, with the potential to grow to more. For those who will not be retained, GM had news for them as well.
That includes relocation offers to Oshawa employees to let them transition to other GM Canada facilities in Ontario. The company is also offering what it calls enhanced retirement packages to workers eligible to retire, which will include a voucher for a new GM vehicle. There will also be a Jobs Action Centre opening in June to help employees plan for and find job opportunities outside of GM. That includes retraining financial support.
Parts stamping, new test track 5/8/2019 3:31:01 PM 5/8/2019 3:31:01 PM