CANADA: CAW angered by GM move to end Camaro production at Oshawa
The current Camaro has been built at Oshawa since March 2009
The Canadian Auto Workers' union (CAW) has reacted angrily to General Motors' announcement that it will end production of the Chevrolet Camaro at the Oshawa plant in Ontario. GM says the successor model will be built in Michigan.
GM points out that the current Camaro is the only rear-wheel drive vehicle manufactured at its Oshawa #1 plant near Toronto. The company insists that choosing to build the sixth generation car at its Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan makes sense, as it already makes the RWD Cadillac ATS there. The next generation Cadillac CTS will also be built at Lansing on the same Alpha architecture as the ATS. It is believed that the next Camaro, due in late 2015, will also use Alpha.
The CAW has issued a statement demanding that GM replace Camaro production at Oshawa with another model to offset job losses at the plant and auto suppliers. The loss of the car will mean a production cut of between one quarter to a third of overall build at the facility. CAW President Ken Lewenza, in a statement, called GM's decision "callous and poorly thought-out."
"General Motors has once again shown a complete and utter disregard for its workers and also Canadians in general, whose tax dollars kept the company out of bankruptcy," Lewenza added.
GM says production of the current generation Chevrolet Camaro will continue on the flexible manufacturing line at Oshawa Assembly until the end of the current product lifecycle.
GM's operations at Oshawa once comprised the largest vehicle manufacturing complex in North America but since the shuttering of the Oshawa Truck plant in May 2009, the site is a shadow of its former self. GM Canada now runs two lines building only cars at the site. Oshawa #1 ('flexible line') manufactures the Camaro coupe and convertible, the Buick Regal, Cadillac XTS and will shortly add the new (2014MY) Chevrolet Impala sedan.
Oshawa's second so-called 'Consolidated Line' assembles the soon to be previous generation Chevy Impala as well as the Chevrolet Equinox SUV. This line was due to be closed during 2013 but GM's statement concerning Camaro production also notes that the Consolidated Line's two models will continue in production until June 2014.
Author: Glenn Brooks