General Motors Canada

Coordinates: 43°52′34″N 78°48′15″W / 43.876110°N 78.804253°W / 43.876110; -78.804253
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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; 105 years ago (1918)
FounderGeneral Motors
Headquarters1908 Colonel Sam Drive
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 8P7
Key people
Marissa West (president)
Revenue$31.675 billion (2007)
Number of employees
5271 (2021)
ParentGeneral Motors

General Motors of Canada Company (French: La Compagnie General Motors du Canada), commonly known as GM Canada, is the Canadian subsidiary of US-based company General Motors.[1] 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.[2] On November 26, 2018, GM announced the closure of its Oshawa plant, ending a century of automobile and related manufacturing operations in the city.[3] On November 5, 2020, GM announced reopening of the Oshawa plant in January 2022 to produce GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks, hiring up to 2,500 workers.


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.[4]

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

In 1907, the "McLaughlin Motor Car Company" was founded in Ontario by Samuel McLaughlin.[5] The first year saw the sale of 154 McLaughlin cars.[6]

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, thereafter branded McLaughlin-Buick 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, Sam McLaughlin acquired the Chevrolet Car Company of Canada, which built Chevrolets in Oshawa with Chevrolet motors and McLaughlin bodies.[6] In 1918, he merged his company with Chevrolet Canada under the name "General Motors of Canada Limited".[5] McLaughlin was retained as president of the company,[5] before 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 propriertorship of the Canadian Company and $10,000,000 to build Walkerville and Canadian Products,[7] but not ownership.[8]

Between 1923 and 1942, McLaughlin's cars were branded McLaughlin-Buick. In 1942, when the production of automobiles was suspended for the Second Great War, the last McLaughlin-Buick was built. When production resumed, they were just "Buick".[5][6]


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

General Motors of Canada opened its new head office building on the shore of Lake Ontario in 1989. The building 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 Technical Centre opened in June 2001. It is primarily responsible for managing the design and validation of vehicles that 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.[9] The Oshawa facility was ranked number 1 facility in overall quality in North and South America by J. D. Power.[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.[10] 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]

In 2021, GM announced that it will be converting its CAMI Automotive Plant into a large-scale commercial electric vehicle manufacturing plant to build the BrightDrop EV600, beginning in April 2022.[11]

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, GM Canada committed to the Government of Canada the production of 10 million face masks at cost for the Public Health Agency of Canada. Beginning production on May 26, 2020, at its Oshawa facility, GM Canada fulfilled its commitment on April 8, 2021.

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.[12]

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.[13]

Manufacturing facilities[edit]

Name Year commissioned Location (Coordinates) Description
CAMI Automotive Plant 1989 Ingersoll, Ontario (43°01′01″N 80°53′15″W / 43.01694°N 80.88750°W / 43.01694; -80.88750) The plant produced the Chevrolet Equinox until 2022. It also formerly produced the GMC Terrain before production in 2017[14] was moved to San Luis Potosí Assembly in Mexico. Beginning in April 2022, GM is converting the plant into a large-scale commercial electric vehicle manufacturing plant to build the BrightDrop EV600, as well as the BrightDrop EV410, which will begin production in 2023.[11]
St. Catharines Engine Plant 1954 Glendale Avenue, St. Catharines, Ontario (43°8′25″N 79°11′10″W / 43.14028°N 79.18611°W / 43.14028; -79.18611) The plant manufactures the GM Vortec line of engines (V6 and V8 engines), and the GF6 transmission. It is the largest volume producer of engines and transmissions in Canada.[11]
Oshawa Car Assembly 1954 / 2021 43°52′3.3″N 78°51′59.0″W / 43.867583°N 78.866389°W / 43.867583; -78.866389 The only GM facility producing solely Chevy Silverado pickups, and the only GM facility producing both light- and heavy-duty models.

Shutting operations on December 19, 2019, the plant reopened on November 10, 2021, when the first Canadian-made Silverado was completed. GM invested C$1.3bn into plant retooling. Prior to reopening, GM said that the site would 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.

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. Plant last occupied by Bayshore Groups.
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. Plant demolished and now redeveloped into retail use.
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. Repurposed for other tenants and now subject to demolition by order of the city.
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. Building demolished.
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. Now re-developed for retail use.

Canadian Technical Centre[edit]

Oshawa Campus[edit]

Canadian Technical Centre in Markham, Ontario

The "Canadian Technical Centre Oshawa Campus" is GM's second largest automotive software engineering and development cluster in North America and third in the world.[11]

Located in Oshawa, Ontario, next to the plant which builds midsize cars,[15] the CTC is where the company conducts much of its engineering and software work.[15] Just 220,000 m2 (55 acres) south of GM's Oshawa Operations is the "CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track", a 1.95 km (1.21 mi) track that "supports the development and integration of software and hardware for advanced vehicle systems" including vehicle in motion embedded controls, advanced driver-assistance systems, infotainment, and advanced technology work.[11]

The CTC in Oshawa 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,[16] 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]

The "Automotive Software Development Centre" in Markham, Ontario, is GM Canada's expansion of its Oshawa campus.[15] It is located at the former Canadian head office site of American Express.[17]

Announced in 2016 and opened in 2017,[15] the facility is meant to support work done on GM's advanced driver-assistance features, its fully autonomous vehicle program, and infotainment system design.[18]

Models produced in Canada[edit]

Model Plant Refs
Chevrolet Silverado Oshawa Car Assembly
BrightDrop Zevo 600 CAMI Automotive

Models formerly produced in Canada[edit]

Model Plant Year started Year stopped Refs
Chevrolet Silverado Oshawa Car Assembly 2006 2019 [19]
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 Equinox 2010 2017
Chevrolet Impala 1965 1984
Chevrolet Lumina 1990 2001
Chevrolet Malibu 1978 1980
Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1977 1980
Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1993 2007
Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 1985 1988
Pontiac 6000 1982 1988
Pontiac Grand Prix 2004 2008
Pontiac Laurentian 1958 1981
Pontiac GTO 1970 1973
Pontiac LeMans 1977 1980
Pontiac Parisienne 1958 1986
Pontiac Strato Chief 1958 1969
Buick Skyhawk Sainte-Thérèse Assembly 1975 1977
Chevrolet Biscayne 1967 1972
Chevrolet Camaro 1993 2002
Chevrolet Celebrity 1987 1990
Chevrolet Impala 1967 1972
Chevrolet Monza 1975 1977
Chevrolet Vega 1973 1974
Oldsmobile Cutlass/Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 1978 1987
Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 1988 1991
Oldsmobile Starfire 1975 1977
Pontiac Astre 1973 1974
Pontiac Bonneville 1983 1986
Pontiac Firebird 1993 2002
Pontiac Grand Prix 1978 1987
Pontiac Sunbird 1976 1977
Chevrolet Silverado Oshawa Truck Assembly
GMC Sierra
Chevrolet Equinox CAMI Automotive 2004 2022 [20]
Geo Metro/Chevrolet Metro/Suzuki Swift (Gen 1)/Suzuki Swift (Gen 2) 1989 2001
Geo Tracker/Chevrolet Tracker/Suzuki Sidekick/Suzuki Vitara 1989 2004
GMC Terrain 2010 2017
Pontiac Torrent 2006 2009
Suzuki XL7 2007 2009

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 Daewoo models. Also distributed Isuzu and Saab products.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Company | Operations | General Motors of Canada". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "GM to close Oshawa plant, leaving 2,800 people out of work: Report".
  4. ^ The Top 200 - Canada's Largest Companies c. 1973–74 – Business Archived February 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d "McLaughlin Motor Car Co., forerunner to GM Canada, is formed". Automotive News. 2017-11-21. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  6. ^ a b c "McLaughlin Buick Club of Canada". Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  7. ^ "History of GM Canada". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  8. ^ Financial Post, September 23, 1933, p. 9
  9. ^ "J.D. Power and Associates". 2010-11-29. Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  10. ^ "GM to drop Pontiac in 2010, cut thousands more jobs". CBC News. April 27, 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d e "GM Canada Fact Sheet." GM Canada. 2021 November 10. Retrieved 2021/12/27.
  12. ^ "GM Media Online". Archived from the original on December 1, 2008.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "2018 GMC Terrain Production Will Move To Mexico". GM Authority. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
  15. ^ a b c d "Canadian Technical Centre". Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  16. ^ GM slashes Oshawa engineering staff by 20% -
  17. ^ "GM Canada launches Canadian Technical Centre in Markham". Electronic Products & Technology. 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  18. ^ "GM launches a new dedicated tech center in Canada". TechCrunch. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  19. ^ "Oshawa Assembly Plant - About This Plant". Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  20. ^ "CAMI Assembly Plant - News". Retrieved 2019-11-17.

External links[edit]