When General Motors announced yesterday it would be moving production
of the next-generation Chevrolet Impala from Oshawa to Detroit, the American plant’s employees immediately jumped for joy. It was a rare victory for the fading automotive capital of the world. The workers of the Ontarian assembly plant, however, are worried.
According to the president of the Canadian Auto Workers’ union (CAW) Ken Lwenza, at any rate. He says Oshawa’s employees are unsure of the consequences this business decision will have.
GM Canada’s corporate communications manager, Jason P. Easton, told Auto123.com that GM didn’t have any announcements planned today concerning Canadian operations, that Canadian production commitments had been revealed publicly and that GM intended to achieve those goals.
In the past, General Motors established that Canadian production should account for at least 16% of all assemblies in North America.
|Buick Regal (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)
Although the automaker believes the Buick Regal (at Oshawa since 2011) will prove quite successful, it evidently won’t compare with the Impala in terms of sales volume. The Impala has always been popular with commercial and law enforcement fleets.
Two scenarios logically emerge. In the first, a new vehicle would be added to Oshawa’s roster to fill the void left by the Impala. Hard to say which model that would be at this time.
The second, much more pessimistic, scenario involves job and/or shift cuts, as production would be slowed.
This is all just speculation, of course, and GM hasn’t evoked either possibility, so there’s no reason to panic. We’ll know in due time what the automaker plans for Oshawa.
The next-generation Impala should enter production in Detroit sometime in 2013 and hit markets as a 2014 model.
Source : Automotive News