Oshawa GM plant cuts worker shifts as it slows car output, adds truck line

Oshawa GM plant cuts worker shifts as it slows car output, adds truck line

OSHAWA, Ont. — GM Canada says it will temporarily lay off employees at its Oshawa, Ont., works as it restarts a truck assembly line and scales back car production to address shifting American buyer preferences.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Wright says that Oshawa employees who build Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS passenger cars have been informed of additional down weeks but wouldn’t give details of how many workers are affected or for how long.

She says an Oshawa plant assembly line that once produced the Chevrolet Equinox is being repurposed to build a truck, but the type of truck won’t be released until January when production begins.

She says the change will have a “neutral employment impact” at the assembly plant.

GM Canada said Friday it sold a total of 23,612 vehicles in November, a 17.2 per cent year-over-year drop, but Canadian year-to-date sales are up 13.6 per cent to 283,000 thanks to strong sales earlier in the year.

Wright says the changes in Oshawa are being made to address American preferences because most of the cars made there are shipped south of the border.

“The market is definitely shifting towards compact SUVs and pickups so we’ve had to adjust our production schedules accordingly,” she said.

“On the downtime … that was announced, that’s particularly related to the overall softness in the market on the U.S. side in the passenger car field, not related to our Canadian sales.”

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