CAMI Automotive

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CAMI Assembly [1]
General motors logo with wordmark.svg
OperatedApril 1, 1989; 33 years ago (1989-04-01)[1]
LocationIngersoll, Ontario, Canada
ProductsAutomobiles, BrightDrop Zevo 600
Area1,700,000 square feet (157,900 m2)
Address300 Ingersoll Street [1]
Owner(s)General Motors Canada

CAMI Assembly (formerly CAMI Automotive) is an assembly plant wholly owned by General Motors Canada. The plant occupies 570 acres (230 ha) and has 1,700,000 square feet (157,900 m2) of floor space of which 400,000 square feet (37,161 m2) was added in 2016[2] as part of a $560 million investment.[3]

CAMI uses the CAMI Production System (CPS), a set of operating philosophies that guide team members in manufacturing vehicles. The basis of the system is working in teams performing standardized work. This is based on the Japanese production system, which is built on a team concept.[4]

Recent developments[edit]

CAMI was an independently incorporated joint venture of automobile manufacturing in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada and formed the third step of General Motors' three-pronged initiative of the mid-1980s to capture and practice the Japanese mystique of automotive management. The other two were United Australian Automobile Industries between Toyota and Holden in Australia, and NUMMI in California with Toyota and GM, the latter a wholly owned alternative to apply its learnings into practice. CAMI was the least successful of the trio for decades[citation needed], but is now the sole survivor.

Production began in late 1989 after several delays. To circumvent the American 25 percent "Chicken tax", the entire Canadian production of Geo Trackers was initially shipped to the United States. The Canadian market, not afflicted by a similar tariff, was supplied directly from Japan.[5]

CAMI certification sticker on a Chevrolet Equinox, 2007

In November 2009, GM announced to invest US$85 million investment at the plant, raising production by 40,000 vehicles to 240,000 by adding a third shift, resulting in the recall of about 150 laid-off autoworkers in preparation of the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.[6][7] Until December 2009, ownership of CAMI was split 50-50% between Suzuki and General Motors of Canada Ltd.[6] The former withdrew from the venture after it stopped production of its XL7 models at CAMI in June 2009 due to poor sales.[6]

In December, 2010, contrary to conditions set out by Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments, GM laid off approximately 90 salaried staff as a result of its takeover of the CAMI Assembly plant.

From 2013 the plant has produced vehicles based on GM's Theta platform for crossover SUVs; production of the second generation Chevrolet Equinox for fleet sales continued even as production of the third generation model started on 8 January 2017.[8] In 2013 GM announced a US$200 million (C$250 million) investment for a new body shop and flexible manufacturing equipment and tooling to support future production.[9]

In early 2015, GM announced to invest US$450 million (C$560 million) in the plant in preparation for production of the next generation Chevrolet Equinox.[9] The amount included C$190 million at the plant and C$370 million in vendor tooling with suppliers.[3]

In January 2017, GM announced it would cut 625 workers as a result of shifting production of the second generation GMC Terrain to Mexico and phasing out the second generation Chevrolet Equinox earlier than planned.[10] CAMI Automotive has 2,800 hourly and 300 salaried employees in early 2017 before the layoff.[11] CAMI also supplied unfinished bodies of Chevrolet Equinox to GM's Oshawa Car Assembly for painting and final assembly.[12] The arrangement ended after the production of the second generation Chevrolet Equinox ceased in 2017. In response to the Terrain's shifting and due to the production of the Equinox in two plants in Mexico, workers went on a strike demanding CAMI become the main assembly point of the Equinox. The strike ended in October 16, 2017.[13]

Awards and highlights[edit]

  • In the 2005 Harbour Report, CAMI was ranked No. 3 in truck assembly in the Small SUV category of the 45 auto assembly plants in North America.
  • Recognized as the most efficient plant in North America four years in a row (2012,2013,2014, and 2015)
  • J.D. Power Silver Plant Award for the Americas – June 2014
  • Landfill Free status achieved in January 2014 [14]
  • Clean50 - 'Leaders in Sustainability' Top 15 Project winner - September 2015[15]
  • Best GMNA Plant in Wiring Warranty Performance – February 2014

Current product[edit]

In 2021, GM announced CAMI Assembly will transition to the BrightDrop platform (starting in May 2022[16]) to become General Motors Canada's first commercial EV manufacturing plant.[17] Announced initial buyers include FedEx and Walmart.[18] The plant will begin to produce the BrightDrop Zevo 600 in December 2022[19] and the Zevo 400 in 2023.[20]

Former products[edit]

The Chevrolet Equinox was produced from 2004 to April 29, 2022. The plant went through retooling following the end of the Equinox to prepare for its next product, the electric van Zevo 600.

The GMC Terrain was produced until the middle of 2017 when production of the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain was transferred to San Luis Potosi Assembly.[11][21]

Historical timeline[edit]

  • 1986 - CAMI Automotive established
  • 1989 - Production of J1 (and Geo Tracker), M2 (Geo Metro) begins - 6,760 vehicles were built in calendar year 1989.[5]
  • 1990 - Suzuki Sidekick production added.[5]
  • 1993 - Total CAMI production reaches 500,000.
  • 1994 - Production of M3 (Geo Metro and Pontiac Firefly) begins.
  • 1996 - Total CAMI production reaches 1.5 million vehicles.
  • 1998 - Production of J2 (Suzuki Vitara and Geo Tracker) begins and CAMI receives ISO 9002 registration for its Quality Management System.
  • 2000 - CAMI receives ISO 14001 registration for its Environmental Management System.
  • 2003 - Total CAMI production reaches 11.5 million vehicles.
  • 2004 - Production of Chevrolet Equinox begins.
  • 2005 - Production of Pontiac Torrent begins.
  • 2006 - Production of Suzuki XL7 begins.
  • 2009 - Production of Suzuki XL7 put on indefinite hold.
  • 2009 - Production of GMC Terrain begins.
  • 2009 - Suzuki withdraws from venture; gives General Motors full control.[22]
  • 2016 - Plant expansion
  • 2017 - Production start of third generation Equinox;[8] production of sister second generation Terrain moved to Mexico;[23] in response of the Terrain's moving to Mexico, workers go on a strike demanding CAMI to become the main assembly point of the Equinox in order to prevent more shiftings to Mexico.[24]
  • 2022 - Production of the Chevrolet Equinox ended April 29, 2022[25]
  • 2022 - Plant retools[26]
  • 2022 - Production of the BrightDrop Zevo 600 beginning December 2022.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "CAMI Assembly Plant - News". Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  2. ^ Chessell, Bruce (2016-01-24). "GM's Ingersoll CAMI plant looking to hire assembly line and skilled trade workers". Woodstock Sentinel-Review. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  3. ^ a b "GM to invest $450 million in Cami assembly plant in Ingersoll: report". Global News. 2015-02-12. Retrieved 2017-01-15 – via The Canadian Press.
  4. ^ De Bono, Norman (2012-12-23). "And you are? Les Bogar, Manager of the Cami Assembly plant". The London Free Press. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  5. ^ a b c Stark, Harry A.; Bush, James W., eds. (1990). Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1990. Vol. 52. Detroit, MI: Ward's Communications, Inc. p. 251. ISBN 0910589010.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: ignored ISBN errors (link)
  6. ^ a b c Freeman, Sunny (4 Dec 2009). "GM taking full ownership of Ingersoll CAMI car plant". The Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  7. ^ Greimel, Hans (4 Dec 2009). "GM buys Suzuki's stake in CAMI joint-venture". The Automotive News. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b Matos, Nadia (2017-01-07). "Cami Automotive in Ingersoll to begin new Chevrolet Equinox production". CTV News. Retrieved 2017-01-15 – via The Canadian Press.
  9. ^ a b "GM Canada to invest C$560 million in Ingersoll plant". Reuters. 12 Feb 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  10. ^ Taylor, Susan; Sharp, Alastair (27 Jan 2017). "GM to cut 625 jobs in Canada, move some work to Mexico: union". Reuters. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  11. ^ a b De Bono, Norman (27 Jan 2017). "Cami Ingersoll slashing 600 jobs, moving Terrain production to Mexico". The London Free Press. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  12. ^ Keenan, Greg (17 Feb 2017). "GM going it alone on $554-million Ontario investment". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  13. ^ LeBel, Jacquelyn (16 Oct 2017). "General Motors CAMI plant strike to end after workers approve tentative agreement". Global News. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  14. ^ Novak, Eric (17 November 2014). "GM Canada Assembly Plant Achieves Landfill-free Status". Enviro Dad. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  15. ^ "General Motors of Canada Limited: CAMI Assembly Plant – Zero Waste to Landfill". Clean 50. Delta Management Group (which owns ""). 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Bicknell, Bryan (3 March 2022). "The finish line draws closer for gas powered vehicles at Ontario CAMI plant". CTV News. Bell Media. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  17. ^ LaReau, Jamie L. (7 March 2022). "GM's new Canada factory will be key to Michigan electric vehicle production". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  18. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J. (5 January 2022). "Walmart and FedEx ordering thousands of electric delivery vans from GM's BrightDrop". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  19. ^ Venetis, Tom (4 April 2022). "GM Canada Electric Vehicle Production in Ontario by the End of 2022". Metroland Media Group. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  20. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (28 September 2021). "Brightdrop Completes First Of 500 Electric Fedex Vans, Adds Smaller EV410 For 2023". Forbes. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  21. ^ Stacey, Megan (12 Jan 2017). "GM Cami Assembly plant in Ingersoll starts building next generation Chevrolet Equinox and plans for phase out of GMC Terrain as production of its new model moves to Mexico". The Woodstock Sentinel Review. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  22. ^ Freeman, Sunny (4 December 2009). "GM taking full ownership of Ingersoll CAMI car plant". Toronto Star. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  23. ^ Welch, David (2017-01-08). "GM to Move Production of GMC Terrain to Mexico From Canada". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  24. ^ "GM workers at Ingersoll plant go on strike". Toronto Sun. 18 September 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  25. ^ Bicknell, Bryan (3 March 2022). "The finish line draws closer for gas powered vehicles at Ontario CAMI plant". CTV News. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  26. ^ Kennedy, David (6 April 2022). "GM BrightDrop CEO says there is 'incredibly' high demand for automaker's electric vans". AutoNews. Retrieved 6 April 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°01′01″N 80°53′15″W / 43.01694°N 80.88750°W / 43.01694; -80.88750