General Motors Canada

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Coordinates: 43°52′34″N 78°48′15″W / 43.876110°N 78.804253°W / 43.876110; -78.804253

General Motors of Canada Company
PredecessorMcLaughlin Buick
Founded1918; 103 years ago (1918)
FounderGeneral Motors
Headquarters1908 Colonel Sam Drive
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 8P7
Key people
Travis Hester (president)
Revenue$31.675 billion (FY,2007)
Number of employees
ParentGeneral Motors

General Motors of Canada Company (French: La Compagnie General Motors du Canada), commonly known as GM Canada, is the Canadian subsidiary of General Motors.[2] It is headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, GM Canada received a combined loan commitment of CA$3 billion of financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments amid declining sales.[3]

On November 26, 2018, GM announced the closure of its Oshawa plant, ending a century of automobile and related manufacturing operations in the city.[4] On November 5, 2020, GM announced reopening of Oshawa plant in January 2022 to produce GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks, hiring up to 2,500 workers.


McLaughlin and Buick[edit]

McLaughlin/GM Canada models
Touring car built in 1927 for the Prince of Wales
1932 Coupe
1936 Series 90 limousine RHD UK
1942 Special, the last year of the McLaughlin badge

"McLaughlin Motor Car Company" was founded in 1907. Samuel McLaughlin and William C. Durant, respectively the biggest carriage builders in Canada and the United States, contracted for Durant's Buick to supply McLaughlin with power trains for 15 years. McLaughlin fitted the power trains to running gear, bodies and chassis built by McLaughlin in Canada. The cars were branded McLaughlin until the end of the contract. McLaughlin-Buick was the brand between 1923 and 1942.

In 1908 Durant and McLaughlin started General Motors Holding Company after Durant exchanged $500,000 of Buick stock for $500,000 of McLaughlin Motor Co. stock. McLaughlin also exchanged his Buick stock for General Motors stock, and in 1910 was invited to be on the board of General Motors in Detroit.


In 1915 McLaughlin acquired the Chevrolet Car Company of Canada, which built Chevrolets in Oshawa with Chevrolet motors and McLaughlin bodies. In 1918 he merged his company with it under the name General Motors of Canada Limited prior to his becoming director and vice president of General Motors on the approval of Durant, who was then president of General Motors and owner of the Chevrolet Motor Co. The corporation moved people in 1918 after McLaughlin allied his company with the corporation unknown to Robert McLaughlin. The McLaughlins were given GM stocks for the propriortorship of the Canadian Company and $10,000,000 to build Walkerville and Canadian Products,[5] but not ownership.[6]

A Chevrolet Maple Leaf truck built in Oshawa and sold in Canada with minor trim differences to the American trucks

GM Canada is a private subsidiary that is wholly allied noted by The Canadian Motor, Tractor and Implement Journal 1919 by General Motors, so information such as assets, revenues, and profits are not disclosed. Nonetheless, GM Canada has historically been one of the largest and most powerful corporations in Canada, being listed as the third "largest" in 1975, and being comparable to several publicly traded companies such as BCE, George Weston Limited, and Royal Bank of Canada.[7]

General Motors of Canada opened its new head office building on the shore of Lake Ontario in 1989. It is a fixture on Highway 401 and usually displays an enormous picture of a new vehicle on its huge glass atrium. This is a rented structure of General Motors Corporation and today is called General Motors. General Motors of Canada built their first offices on Richmond street in Oshawa and had large General Motors of Canada signage from 1919. The McLaughlin plants were there and were resigned by the McLaughlin Family.

GM's Canadian Regional Engineering Centre opened in June 2001. It is primarily responsible for managing the design and validation of vehicles which are manufactured in Canada, though it supports many joint development efforts with GM operations in other countries.

The manufacturing plants located in Oshawa produced the Chevrolet from 1915, and today the Camaro and included the Chevrolet Truck Company of Canada 1919. Cadillac and LaSalle were built here too. The Oshawa plants have regularly garnered top quality ratings by J. D. Power.[8] The Oshawa facility was ranked number 1 facility in overall quality in North and South America by J. D. Power and Associates.[citation needed] The Truck Plant was closed to give industry to Mexico, and reopen old Saturn Plants.[citation needed]

General Motors of Canada announced a naming rights deal for the General Motors Centre in Oshawa on October 5, 2006. The centre's main tenants are the Oshawa Generals junior hockey team, who were named for the company in 1937.

On April 27, 2009, GM Canada announced that it would cut over half of its Canadian jobs and close 40% of its Canadian dealerships by 2014 in response to its parent company's dire financial straits.[9] Reducing its franchises in Canada from approximately 709 dealerships to about 470 across the country, after General Motors (US) bankruptcy. The Canadian Government sold its 12% of General Motors stock, purchased in 2009, in early 2015.[citation needed]

2008 Canadian Auto Workers bargaining[edit]

General Motors and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining contract on May 15, 2008, a full four months before the existing contract was due to expire. As part of the agreement, GM pledged to maintain production at the Oshawa, Ontario pickup truck plant and made other production commitments.

On June 3, 2008, less than three weeks after ratification of the new contract, GM announced that, due to soaring gasoline prices and plummeting truck sales, it would close four additional truck and SUV plants, including the Oshawa pickup plant.[10]

In response, the CAW organized a blockade of the GM of Canada headquarters in Oshawa. The blockade was ended by an Ontario Superior Court order, after 12 days. Further discussions between GM and the CAW resulted in an agreement to compensate workers at the truck plant and additional product commitments for the Oshawa car assembly plant.[11]

Canadian Technical Centre[edit]

Oshawa Campus[edit]

Canadian Technical Centre in Markham, Ontario

The Canadian Technical Centre Oshawa Campus is located in Oshawa, Ontario, next to the plant which builds midsize cars. The CREC opened in 2001 and represented a significant growth in the scope of engineering done in Canada by GM. Previously, the engineering team in Oshawa focused on making improvements to the vehicles currently in production, and the team was less than 50 engineers. After three years of growth and the construction of the CREC building, the organization grew to over 500, and work was focused on designing future products such as the next-generation Chevrolet Equinox, built in Ingersoll, Ontario, as well as supporting the highly rated car and truck plants alongside CREC in Oshawa. In addition, teams within CREC work in the areas of alternative fuels, hybrids, and fuel cell vehicles. In 2008, CREC's focus began changing, and its size reducing, due to contractions in GM's workforce in general, and the rise in the Canadian dollar. Over the past year,[when?] the engineering staff has been cut dramatically, several times,[12] in response to the shift in focus from mainstream vehicle development to advanced technology work (ATW). The total reduction reached more than 60% in June 2009, leaving a workforce of about 150 concentrated in various areas of ATW and heavily linked with Canadian government-supported programs such as the Automotive Innovation Network (AIN).

Markham Campus[edit]

GM opened another Canadian Technical Centre campus in Markham, Ontario, in 2017 located at the former American Express Canadian head office site.[13]

Manufacturing Facilities[edit]

Name Year commissioned Coordinates Description
CAMI Automotive Plant 1989 43°01′01″N 80°53′15″W / 43.01694°N 80.88750°W / 43.01694; -80.88750 Located in Ingersoll, Ontario. The plant currently produces the Chevrolet Equinox and formerly produced the GMC Terrain before production in 2017[14] was moved to San Luis Potosí Assembly in Mexico.
St. Catharines Engine Plant 1954 43°8′25″N 79°11′10″W / 43.14028°N 79.18611°W / 43.14028; -79.18611 Located on Glendale Avenue in St. Catharines. The plant currently produces the GM Vortec line of engines.
Oshawa Car Assembly 2021 43°52′3.3″N 78°51′59.0″W / 43.867583°N 78.866389°W / 43.867583; -78.866389 Reopened on November 10, 2021 when the first Canadian-made Silverado was completed. GM invested C$1.3bn into plant retooling.

Former Manufacturing Facilities[edit]

Name Year commissioned Year decommissioned Coordinates Description
St. Catharines Components Plant 1929 2010 43°09′58″N 79°15′41″W / 43.166°N 79.2613°W / 43.166; -79.2613 Produced engine and transmission components and final drive assemblies for powertrains.
Scarborough Van Assembly 1974 1993 43°43′36″N 79°17′31″W / 43.7267°N 79.2919°W / 43.7267; -79.2919 Mainly produced the Chevrolet van. The plant was first built in 1952 to produce Frigidaire refrigerators.
Regina Plant 1931 1941 50°27′27″N 104°35′47″W / 50.457592°N 104.596352°W / 50.457592; -104.596352 Still standing. Used to produce munitions in World War II. The plant was closed for 7 years during the great depression.
Sainte-Thérèse Assembly 1965 2004 45°37′42″N 73°51′03″W / 45.628369°N 73.850742°W / 45.628369; -73.850742 Produced vehicles under the Chevy and Pontiac marques. The site has been redeveloped as a commercial and residential complex.
Windsor Transmission 1963 2010 42°18′29″N 83°00′04″W / 42.308086°N 83.001033°W / 42.308086; -83.001033 Transmission operations moved to St. Catharines. It made front-wheel-drive, automatic transmissions and transmission components used by other GM facilities.
Oshawa Truck Assembly 1965 2009 43°51′53″N 78°51′47″W / 43.8648°N 78.863°W / 43.8648; -78.863 Produced Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Closed due to global high gasoline prices.
Oshawa North Plant 1907 2004 43°54′14″N 78°51′27″W / 43.903760°N 78.857638°W / 43.903760; -78.857638 First GM plant in Canada. Operations were moved to the GM Autoplex (Oshawa Car Assembly). Location was used by the Oshawa Truck Assembly until operation were moved to the GM autoplex.
Oshawa Car Assembly 1954 2019 43°52′3.3″N 78°51′59.0″W / 43.867583°N 78.866389°W / 43.867583; -78.866389 Last vehicle produced December 19, 2019. GM says the site will continue to be used for autonomous vehicle testing and production of vehicle stampings and other sub-assemblies. On November 5, 2020 GM announced plans to reopen the plant in January 2022 to produce GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado. Later reopening was pulled forward to 4Q 2021.

Models produced in Canada[edit]

Model Plant Refs
Chevrolet Equinox CAMI Automotive Plant [15]
Chevrolet Silverado Oshawa Car Assembly

Models formerly produced in Canada[edit]

Model Plant Year started Year stopped Refs
Chevrolet Silverado Oshawa Car Assembly 2006 2019 [16]
GMC Sierra 2006 2019
Chevrolet Impala 1999 2019
Buick Century 1996 2005
Buick LaCrosse

Buick Allure

2005 2009
Buick Regal 1988 1998
Buick Regal 2011 2017
Buick Special 1957 1957
Chevrolet Bel Air 1954 1970
Chevrolet Biscayne 1958 1975
Chevrolet Brookwood

Chevrolet Kingswood

1969 1972
Chevrolet Camaro 2010 2015
Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1971 1990
Chevrolet Celebrity 1982 1985
Chevrolet Chevelle 1963 1977
Chevrolet Corvair 1962 1962
Chevrolet Impala 1965 1984
Chevrolet Lumina 1990 2001
Chevrolet Malibu 1978 1980
Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1977 1980
Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1993 2007
Chevrolet Equinox 2010 2017
Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 1985 1988
Pontiac 6000 1982 1998
Pontiac Grand Prix 2004 2008
Pontiac Laurentian 1958 1981
Pontiac LeMans 1977 1980
Pontiac Parisienne 1958 1986
Pontiac Strato Chief 1958 1969
Pontiac Trans Am Sainte-Thérèse Assembly
Chevrolet Silverado
GMC Sierra Oshawa Truck Assembly
Chevrolet Tracker
Pontiac Torrent CAMI Automotive
GMC Terrain

Models exclusive to Canada[edit]

Model Year started Year ended Information
Acadian 1962 1971 Canadian-built Chevy IIs
Asüna 1992 1995 Rebadged imported Isuzu, Suzuki and Daewoo models
Beaumont 1966 1969 Based on Chevrolet Chevelle
Envoy 1959 1970 Rebadged imported British-built Vauxhall and Bedford models
Passport 1988 1991 Rebadged imported Isuzu, Saab and Daewoo models

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "GM Canada operations Redirect". Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Our Company | Operations | General Motors of Canada". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  3. ^ Industry Canada (2009-03-30). "The Governments of Canada and Ontario Reject Automakers' Restructuring Plans". Archived from the original on October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  4. ^ "GM to close Oshawa plant, leaving 2,800 people out of work: Report".
  5. ^ "History of GM Canada". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  6. ^ Financial Post, September 23, 1933, p. 9
  7. ^ The Top 200 - Canada's Largest Companies c. 1973–74 – Business Archived February 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "J.D. Power and Associates". 2010-11-29. Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  9. ^ "GM to drop Pontiac in 2010, cut thousands more jobs". CBC News. April 27, 2009.
  10. ^ Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Greg Keenan (July 28, 2008). "GM-CAW deal adds models to production line". Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  12. ^ GM slashes Oshawa engineering staff by 20% -
  13. ^ "GM Canada launches Canadian Technical Centre in Markham". Electronic Products & Technology. 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  14. ^ "2018 GMC Terrain Production Will Move To Mexico". GM Authority. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
  15. ^ "CAMI Assembly Plant - News". Retrieved 2019-11-17.
  16. ^ "Oshawa Assembly Plant - About This Plant". Retrieved 2019-08-31.

External links[edit]