General Motors Canada

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General Motors of Canada Company
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. It is headquartered at the Canadian Regional Engineering Centre in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, GM Canada received a combined loan commitment of C$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]


McLaughlin and Buick[edit]

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,[4] but not ownership.[5]

A Chevrolet Maple Leaf truck built in Oshawa and sold in Canada with minor trim differences to the American trucks.
1934 McLaughlin Buick RHD
series 50 model 57
NEC Motor Show, Birmingham UK

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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

Canadian Technical Centre[edit]

GM opened their Technical Centre campus in Markham, Ontario, in 2017 located at the former American Express Canadian head office site.[11]

2018 announced closure[edit]

The planned closure of the Oshawa plant was announced on November 25, 2018, in a global reorganization effort. 2522 unionized positions (Unifor Local 222) face layoffs, and no further auto assemblies were planned later than December 2019.[12][13]

Canadian factories[edit]

Plant Location Year opened Products Made
CAMI Automotive 300 Ingersoll Street,
Ingersoll, Ontario
1989 Chevrolet Equinox
Oshawa Car Assembly-1907 moving to the South Plant started in 1954 1000 Park Road South,
Oshawa, Ontario
1954 Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra
St. Catharines Engine/Transmission 570 Glendale Avenue,
St. Catharines, Ontario
1954 GM Vortec engines

Former Plants[edit]

Models currently made in Canada[edit]

A Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics vehicle in Vancouver. GM Canada was a sponsor of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Former Models made in Canada[edit]

Former marques exclusive to Canada[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "GM Canada operations Redirect". Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  2. ^ Industry Canada (2009-03-30). "The Governments of Canada and Ontario Reject Automakers' Restructuring Plans". Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "History of GM Canada". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  5. ^ Financial Post, September 23, 1933, p. 9
  6. ^ The Top 200 - Canada's Largest Companies c. 1973–74 – Business Archived February 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "J.D. Power and Associates". 2010-11-29. Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  8. ^ "GM to drop Pontiac in 2010, cut thousands more jobs". CBC News. April 27, 2009.
  9. ^ Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "GM Canada launches Canadian Technical Centre in Markham". Electronic Products & Technology. 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  12. ^ "GM plant in Oshawa, Ont., to shut down". CBC News. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  13. ^

External links[edit]