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GM eyes $2-billion investment in plant revamps
In talks with federal, Ontario governments for major assembly, research upgrades
By SIMON TUCK, GREG KEENAN, AND MURRAY CAMPBELL
Thursday, May 6, 2004

OTTAWA and TORONTO -- General Motors of Canada Ltd. is involved in serious discussions with Ontario and Ottawa seeking financial help for an investment of up to $2-billion to revamp two assembly plants and significantly increase research and development activities, The Globe and Mail has learned.

The plan, which could also include upgrades to other GM assembly and parts operations in Ontario, would provide a significant boost for a sector that has been battered by assembly plant closings, cancellation of new projects earmarked for Canada and a flood of investment into the U.S. South.

The world's largest auto maker is also examining boosting its research operations in Canada, perhaps increasing the studies it now helps finance at the University of Windsor or developing a new "centre of excellence" for auto research, sources say. That would provide a major shot in the arm for the intellectual side of the industry by increasing high-tech design and engineering jobs that have not traditionally been Canada's strong suit.

The company's plans are far from final, industry and government sources said, but an investment of $2-billion would represent one of the largest such programs yet in the auto industry in Canada.

It would also preserve thousands of well-paid jobs at two GM car assembly plants in Oshawa, and create hundreds of new R&D jobs, as well as spinoff jobs in the auto parts sector and elsewhere.

The GM discussions centre on a major retooling of the auto maker's two Oshawa, Ont., car assembly plants.

These plants now assemble Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo models and Buick Regal and Century sedans.

Among the possibilities for Oshawa are turning the car plants into flexible assembly plants with multiple models coming off one or more platforms -- a platform is the basic chassis and underpinning of a vehicle -- or rebuilding assembly lines to switch to rear-wheel-drive cars from the current front-wheel-drive vehicles made there.

Three industry sources said the auto maker is considering Oshawa for a rear-wheel-drive platform called Zeta that will provide the base for the next generation of the Pontiac GTO sedan, and a return of the Chevrolet Camaro sports car in 2008.

But a senior industry source who is familiar with GM's product programs said it's too early to identify Oshawa as the source of Zeta vehicles.

Another option is a new front-wheel-drive platform code-named Chi in the series of new GM platforms named after the letters in the Greek alphabet.

Full Article Here

 

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Wow this article is yet another source of the confirmation of a new Camaro. If you want to get people reading it change to headline to new Camaro in 08 from Canada or something like that. Does anyone have more information on what exactly is Chi?
 

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Is the quip about the Camaro speculation on their part or do they have solid evidence for it?

What cars would be on the Chi platform?

It doesn't bother me that the new Camaro might be Canadien-built, that's just keeping with tradition. :D
 

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Perhaps in the bigger picture the important news story could be the re-emergence of the Camaro. I would certainly applaud that decision if it's made by GM. After owning nine Camaro's in my lifetime there is a huge soft spot in my heart, as I have fond driving memories, especially with the Z28's.
 

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Oshawa will eventualy go to Zeta, but there is news that it will be the 2nd factory to make Zeta cars.
And if the GTO makes it in, you wont see a Firebird.
 

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Well when it comes to FWD platforms GM has them covered:
J-body >>> Delta
GM-P90>>>Epsilon
W-Body>>>> Chi?
F-Body/G-Body>> Zeta?
 

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Since the Grand Prix is supposedly going RWD next time around I'm still betting the next gen GTO and the next gen GP are both on the Zeta. With the GP being the 4 door and GTO being the coupe. Since the GP is already made at that plant with the other W-bodies, it would make it seem at least reasonable although obviously not a sure bet.

Since there are two plants (Oshawa #1 and #2) I could see the GTO and maybe the Camaro being produced in conjuction with the W-body replacements.


As a side question.... I don't remember, is Zeta the official name for the Sigma-Lite???
 

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I thought part of the reason the Camaro died was to move production from Canada? :huh:

Three industry sources Ah?

Good news none the less!
 

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This is great news and another ongoing tidbit of information regarding the Zeta platform. It is also good news because I work at GM-Oshawa and have been following these things. The $400 million new car paintshop is almost online here too. I can see the plan now $$$.
 

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ok i can see the camaro coming back but making a rear wheel drive 4 dr GTO is ridiculous leave the damn GTO alone with 2 drs if anything make it a friggin conv all we have by 2007 is the Solstice roadster add a GTO conv to the GTO lineup and Ford will once again bow down to GM for makin a real hot rod with a convert top......and as for the rebirth of the firebird keep it under the covers unless Pontiac gets a Bob Lutz pill and makes it a RWD 4dr car NOT A BRIGHT IDEA GM AND PONTIAC...somehow u guys missed that firebird part a bit some touched on it but not much....KEEP THE FIREBIRD UNDER THE COVERS UNLESS GTO GOES SEDAN BUT THEN AGAIN YOU NEVER KNOW WITH PONTIAC..... :(
 

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Originally posted by posaune@May 6 2004, 10:10 PM
I thought part of the reason the Camaro died was to move production from Canada? :huh:

Three industry sources Ah?

Good news none the less!
No, moving it to Canada had nothing to do with killing it.

and who said the GTO was going 4dr? The GP will probably be the "Commadore" to the "Monaro" GTO. Same chassis, same drivetrain, just different doors.

And yes, Zeta is the official name for Sigma-Lite/Sigma-Mass
 

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Originally posted by Erunion+May 7 2004, 07:35 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Erunion @ May 7 2004, 07:35 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-bigals87z28@May 7 2004, 03:31 AM
and who said the GTO was going 4dr?
The article said GTO sedan

(because they are idiots) [/b][/quote]
Well the Monaro is a 2dr. sedan beeing that it is based on a sedan ark. Perhaps THATS what they ment by SEDAN. bigals87z28 is right! B)
 
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