GM Canada says it is to invest C$12m (US$9m) to increase Chevrolet Equinox production on the consolidated production line at Oshawa Assembly and for related changes in the body shop at CAMI Assembly.

The automaker noted the investment in Ontario-based production and supplier tools would help to meet strong North American customer demand for the Chevrolet Equinox.

The investment extends plans for ongoing Oshawa Assembly Consolidated Line production to 2017.

“This new investment represents a very effective way for us to meet strong demand for the Chevrolet Equinox and it’s positive news for our community,” said GM Canada president and managing director, Steve Carlisle.

The new investment builds on GM’s Ontario Equinox ‘shuttle programme’ and allows the company to ramp up production.

In 2010, the Equinox Shuttle programme was established between GM’s Ingersoll CAMI and Oshawa Assembly operations.

CAMI’s Body Shop produces extra Chevrolet Equinox units beyond the plant’s existing capacity to paint and assemble them. Vehicle body assemblies are then shipped to the Oshawa plant for paint and final assembly. 

The Oshawa Assembly plant currently produces the Chevrolet Equinox and the previous generation Chevrolet Impala on its ‘Consolidated Line’ as well as the Buick Regal, the current model Chevrolet Impala, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Cadillac XTS on its ‘Flex Line.’

The company has announced the Chevrolet Camaro will end production in Oshawa in November 2015 and expects to manage that change without lay-offs, due to the use of what it refers to as incentivised retirement programmes. 

GM has invested around C$800m in its Oshawa and St. Catharines operations during the past three years and recently announced a further $800m spend in its CAMI business in Ingersoll, Ontario.