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GM moves Camaro assembly to Michigan

Keywords: Tags  General Motors, Chevrolet Camaro, Oshawa plant, Lansing plant, vehicle production, Impala, Equinox, Buick Regal Canadian Auto Workers

CHICAGO — The next-generation Chevrolet Camaro will be assembled at the Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Mich., General Motors Co. said Wednesday, citing lower capital investment and improved production efficiencies as key factors in its decision.

The Camaro is the only rear-wheel-drive vehicle built at Oshawa, Ontario, and assembling the next-generation Camaro at Lansing consolidates the rear-wheel-drive assembly with the Cadillac CTS and ATS.

GM will continue to meet production targets agreed to with the Canadian and Ontario governments during the 2009 restructuring, the Detroit-based company said.

Assembly of the current-generation Camaro will continue on the flexible manufacturing line at Oshawa until the end of the current product life cycle.

Oshawa continues to produce the Buick Regal, and GM recently invested $185 million to launch two new products on the flex line: the Cadillac XTS and next-generation Chevrolet Impala, each of which are scheduled to launch next year.

GM plans to add a third shift to support the launch of the new Impala there. The consolidated line at Oshawa Assembly will continue to produce the current-generation Impala and Chevrolet Equinox until June 2014.

GM’s decision will cut production in Oshawa by between one-quarter and one-third by late 2015 or early 2016, the Canadian Auto Workers union said. As a result, the union is calling on the automaker to replace that production on a one-to-one basis, ensuring no job losses.

While the exact number of jobs that could be lost hasn’t yet been accounted for, removing the Camaro could have the effect of closing down a number of auto parts companies, the union claimed.

Union members are starting the holidays “wondering if they’ll have jobs in the future. (GM) must now explain to our members and Canadian taxpayers why they are pulling more production out of the country,” CAW Local 222 president Chris Buckley said.

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