Report: GM Oshawa Plant to Become Aftermarket Plant, Autonomous Test Track

A plan is emerging for GM’s soon to be “idled” Oshawa assembly plant, near Toronto. According to a report from Automotive News Canada, the plant will be converted to an aftermarket plant, producing GM parts.

Although the plan is set to save around 300 jobs, most of the 2,600 employees at the Canadian plant will still lose their jobs. GM says it has comprehensive severance packages for them and plans to invest $170 million to support the plant’s transition.

Despite the low proportion of saved jobs, the plant could add more jobs as more products are identified.

Some of the plant’s square-footage will also be converted into a test track for autonomous and advanced vehicle technologies, per the report. That follows news that autonomous vehicle subsidiary, Cruise, just received a $1 billion dollar investment.

The plant was among the North American production sites GM announced it would de-allocate late last year. That effectively meant that although plants wouldn’t technically be shut down, they would have nothing to produce and the employees would be laid off before the end of 2019.

That date was meaningful because the union representing the Candian workers, Unifor, argued that its contract protected workers through 2020. The union launched a media campaign against GM, which included TV ads criticizing GM and protests in both Toronto and Detroit.

[source: Automotive News]

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