Oshawa Car Assembly
Oshawa Car Assembly (GM Oshawa) is a major manufacturing facility in the city of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, building various automobiles for General Motors Canada. Vehicles are primarily produced for the US and Canadian market, but they also build exports for various countries around the world, particularly South America and the Middle East. At one time, the factory was one of the largest auto manufacturing facilities in the world, with 2 car plants, a truck plant, as well as producing Harrison radiators, AC Delco batteries (for both GM and other vehicle manufacturers) and America Axle production. Since 1999, it has won more quality and productivity awards than any other GM plant. The plant is part of the larger GM Autoplex.
The facility has over 10 million square feet (930,000 m²) of factory floor. It was converted to a state of the art Flexible Manufacturing facility in 2008, which involved the consolidation of two car plants under the same roof and the addition of a $1.3B paint shop which can accommodate 27 different body styles, including cars, pick up trucks and vans. Approximately 3,600 hourly and 400 salaried employees currently work at the plant, with many more engineers working at GM's Regional Engineering Center across the road . The hourly-rated workers are represented by their union, Unifor Local 222. In August 2017, it was rated highly by its employees in The Best Places to Work in Canada rankings by Indeed, garnering 4th spot overall, and 1st for wages and benefits.
Current products include the Buick Regal, 10th gen Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS sedans, (including the Cadillac PRO model, which are later converted for use as hearses, stretch limo's and armored limo's), 9th Gen Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Equinox until July 2017, after which one of the plants will be retooled for production of the Chevrolet Silverado to begin by late 2017. The next generation Buick Regal will be assembled in Germany for the North American market.
The facility has produced vehicles since 1907. It was one of six locations building Chevrolet before it merged with GM in 1918. In January 1918, Oshawa became the first Canadian GM plant to minimize the issue of large scale layoffs by cutting the second shift and alternating day- and night-shift workers at two-week intervals. This system was later adopted at other plants around the continent.
In the mid-1980s, GM began a large transformation of the facility, naming the site "Autoplex." The changeover came in three steps, the first being conversion of the truck plant to GMT400 production in 1986. The next step was retooling Line 2 for the new W-body Regal, which began production in mid-1987. The final instalment was a long changeover of Line 1 for the Chevrolet Lumina, which went into production on January 8, 1989 as a 1990 model.
The Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix were discontinued in June and November 2007 respectively. The Buick LaCrosse was discontinued from Oshawa #2 in 2008 and moved to Fairfax Assembly for 2009. In the fourth quarter of that year, it began producing the new Chevrolet Camaro. Both the Buick Regal and the Camaro Convertible launched on the Flex Line in the first quarter of 2011. The plant began the production of high performance 2012 Camaro ZL1 and the 2012 Buick Regal GS in 2012 and will build the 2013 Cadillac XTS in the first quarter of 2012.
In August 2010, the plant began assembling the Chevrolet Equinox in partnership with another GM facility in Ingersoll Ontario, known as CAMI Automotive. The metal bodies are made at CAMI, trucked two hours east to Oshawa, where they are inserted on the conveyor just before the paint shop. The bodies are painted and then go through the general assembly process at the Oshawa plant. The entire process was developed as quick way to respond to high demand for the Equinox product. The CAMI facility does make Equinox and GMC Terrain from start to finish at their own plant, but they did not have the capacity to put more bodies through paint and general assembly.
The plant won the J.D. Power Gold Award for initial quality in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006; as well a numerous other individual awards for the specific models it produces. In 2007, the plant won silver for initial quality, and a Gold Best in Segment award for the Pontiac Grand Prix, and Bronze Best in Segment for the Monte Carlo. In all, the plant has won 19 J.D. Power awards for quality since 1999. In recognition of that achievement, J.D. Power awarded the Founder's Award to the Car Plant in the summer of 2008; it is an award that has been presented only six times in the lengthy history of J.D. Power & Associates. Harbour Consulting rated Oshawa #1 (building the Impala and Monte Carlo) as the second most efficient in North America, the top-rated in the study was Oshawa #2 (building the LaCrosse and Grand Prix).
Current Models (model years)
- Chevrolet Silverado (production to begin in 2018)
Former Models (model years)
Some of the former models produced at the plant included:
- Buick Regal (1988–2004, 2012-2017)
- Chevrolet Equinox (2010–2017)
- Chevrolet Impala Limited (2014–2016)
- Chevrolet Impala (1965–1985, 2000–Present)
- Chevrolet Camaro (2010–2015)
- Buick LaCrosse/Allure (2005–2009)
- Pontiac Grand Prix (2004–2008)
- Chevrolet Monte Carlo (1995–2007)
- Buick Century (1982–2005)
- Chevrolet Lumina (1990–2001)
- Chevrolet Celebrity (1982–1990)
- Chevrolet Caprice Classic (1971–1990)
- Pontiac 6000 (1982–1988)
- Pontiac Parisienne (1958–1986)
- Chevrolet Bel Air (1976–1981)
- Pontiac Laurentian (1958–1981)
- Chevrolet Biscayne (1958–1975)
- Chevrolet Brookwood/Kingswood/Kingswood Estate/Townsman (1969–1972)
- Pontiac Strato Chief (1958–1969)
- McLaughlin Chevrolets from 1916
- McLaughlin Buicks (1907–1918)
- Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS Convertoble (1964 - 1965)
- Oshawa Truck Assembly - originally located in the North Plant, later moved on the same site next to Oshawa Car Assembly and closed in 2009.
- General Motors Canada
- Final Offer - 1984 documentary film that shows life on the floor of the Oshawa Plant.
- List of GM factories
- Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1988. Ward's Communications, Inc. 1988.
- Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1989. Ward's Communications, Inc. 1989.
- "Efficient auto factories aren't spared the ax". Detroit News. Archived from the original on June 1, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2006.
- "The Harbour Report North America 2007" (pdf). Harbour Consulting. May 31, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-11.