Oshawa Will Perform Silverado and Sierra Final Assembly

Trucks are coming back to Oshawa — kinda.

According to The Globe and Mail, a $400-million investment will fund upgrades necessary for Oshawa to perform final assembly of General Motors pickups using bodies manufactured in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and shipped to Canada.

The report states the investment in Oshawa’s Flex Line will enable it to build the trucks, which includes installing interiors and other tasks much like work performed by Consolidated Line workers to build Chevrolet Equinoxes using bodies provided by CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario.

GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly currently produces regular- and double-cab light- and heavy-duty pickups.

After marathon negotiations earlier this week, Unifor president Jerry Dias praised the deal reached with General Motors, stating, “I am pleased to announce to our members … that we have found a solution for your facilities.” It’s unclear if the solution is needed for sake of pickup demand or a “make-work” project to keep Oshawa open until the next round of labor negotiations, which are planned for 2020.

The Globe and Mail stated sources had earlier said full-size SUV bodies could be shipped from Arlington, Texas, for final assembly, which would have meant a 1,460-mile journey to Oshawa. The bodies coming from Fort Wayne will be shipped just over 400 miles for final assembly.

The new production allotment is a far cry from what Oshawa lost in 2009. In the throes of the recession, General Motors closed its truck plant in Oshawa. GM eventually moved that production to Silao, Mexico, when sales of full-size pickups increased as the economy recovered.

Oshawa has lost other products recently, including the Chevrolet Camaro (production moved to Michigan) and Chevrolet Impala Limited, a previous-generation Impala that went out of production this summer.

In addition to the new pickup line, Oshawa will produce the Cadillac XTS until 2019. General Motors plans to produce the next-generation Buick Regal exclusively in Germany. The current-generation Chevrolet Impala is currently built in Oshawa and Michigan, but demand for full-size sedans is on a downward trend.

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