Home Finance General Motors said to plan closure of major Ontario operation

General Motors said to plan closure of major Ontario operation

Detroit Free Press staff reports
Published 6:55 a.m. ET Nov. 26, 2018 | Updated 7:28 a.m. ET Nov. 26, 2018


General Motors is offering voluntary buyouts to 18,000 workers.

General Motors is expected to announce on Monday that it will close its Oshawa, Ontario, plant, eliminating around 2,500 jobs. Other reports said the job number ranged from 2,200 to 3,000. 

The company declined comment on the reports.

CTV News Toronto said the move “would affect approximately 2,500 unionized positions and 300 salaried employees. However thousands of other jobs could be affected in related industries, such as auto parts manufacturing.”

The report comes amid aggressive cost-cutting from the Detroit carmaker, which also is expected to say on Monday how many of its salaried workers in North America accepted a voluntary buyout offer. The Free Press reported that the company hoped to trim 7,000 white-collar jobs and is expected to move to involuntary cuts if the number of workers stepping forward falls short.

“For the first time in my memory, GM is leading the pack on tangible restructuring actions, and the dominoes are really starting to fall,” Jon Gabrielsen, an independent adviser to the auto industry. “This may not be the last plant closure for GM, and we have not yet seen Ford and FCA show their hands.” 

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While Ford is trimming its global white-collar workforce, it has said nothing about plant closures.

Auto sales hit record levels in 2016 and are slowing as automakers say they face challenges from both the slowing sales and tariffs on steel and aluminum as part of President Donald Trump’s trade war.

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Workers at GM’s U.S. plants, particularly in Lordstown, Ohio, have been concerned about production cuts. GM makes the Cruze sedan in Lordstown as consumer demand shifts to SUVs. GM has not committed to investing the money needed to retool the Lordstown plant for a future vehicle. 

GM makes the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS cars and Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks in Oshawa, according to its website

Oshawa’s outgoing mayor, John Henry, tweeted Sunday night that he was “utterly heartbroken” by the news. “No one in Oshawa or our region is unaffected by these reports and the devastating announcement we hear is coming tomorrow morning.”

Bloomberg noted that “production in Oshawa and other car centers near Toronto has dwindled in the last few decades as more North American production shifted to lower-cost centers in Mexico and the U.S.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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