Economy

'It's bad:' Oshawa, Ont., digests 'devastating' GM plant closure

'It's bad:' Oshawa, Ont., digests 'devastating' GM plant closure

"By further developing alternative opportunities here in Oshawa, our mutually beneficial relationship can continue long into the future", the statement says.

Ontario's Minister of Economic Development is reacting to news that General Motors will shut down production at its Oshawa plant as of 2019. "Look at what they've done to the manufacturing footprint in this country", Dias said at a rally of Unifor Local 222 members Monday. We really did. We've invested so much.

GM said it has no plans to make automobiles at three factories in Oshawa, Ont., Detroit and Warren, Ohio, as well as parts plants in Maryland and MI.

Oshawa Mayor John Henry said he hopes the news is "just a rumour", and adds that he had not spoken to anyone from GM. Not allocating product doesn't mean the plants will permanently close, but it puts their future and the jobs of roughly 6,700 hourly and salaried factory employees in the US and Canada at risk.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford have not commented publicly about the issue.

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"We've seen this before, that's for sure, but to completely close the operation, it's like death".

The current plant opened in 1953 and produces Chevrolet Equinox, Cadillac XTS, Buick Regal and Chevrolet Impala, according to the GM Canada website. Propulsion plants in Maryland and MI also will not be given any product. But he noted the former head of GM Canada, Steve Carlisle, was determined it wouldn't close on his watch.

In addition to competition from traditional auto makers, GM now finds itself pushing against technology companies for the future of mobility, Paterson said.

"I expect a little more out of GM but I shouldn't be surprised". "We think it's appropriate to do it at a time, and get in front of it, while the company is strong and while the economy is strong".

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French told CTV News Channel that GM shuttering its operations would be "brutal" for the city, with effects of that decision rippling across southern Ontario.

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In the bitter rain and cold, Unifor sent their GM workers home.

GM announced the closures Monday as part of a sweeping strategy to transform its product line and manufacturing process that will see the company focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs, a plan that it said will save the company US$6 billion by the year 2020. "Yesterday, I spoke with @GM's Mary Barra to express my deep disappointment in the closure", he added.

The US$6 billion in savings includes cost reductions of US$4.5 billion and lower capital expenditure annually of nearly US$1.5 billion.

A spokeswoman for GM Canada said Sunday that the company had "no news or comment tonight" and would not be commenting on speculation.

One potential partner could be Honda Motor Co., which already has r&d relationships with GM for fuel cell and autonomous vehicles. Its closure, he said, will risk the loss of as many as 15,000 jobs at those companies.

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MP Erin O'Toole, whose riding of Durham includes part of Oshawa, said Monday that the news came as a surprise, as Oshawa seemed to have a reputation for being one of the company's most productive plants. "So we're growing faster than anyone in the industry in new technology, at the same time as we're unfortunately going through next year this really hard change with regard to our manufacturing base in Canada".


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