December 12, 2018

USA: General Motors (GM) Will Kill Off These 6 Chevy, Buick, And Cadillac Sedans When It Closes Select Factories In 2019. GM Closing All Operations In Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

Business Insider
written by Benjamin Zhang
Tuesday November 27, 2018

General Motors announced a major shift in its business strategy on Monday that will see the automaker shift its focus toward trucks, SUVs, and electric vehicles.

The announcement also signals a shift away from the traditional sedan, which has been losing sales to crossovers and SUVs for much of the past decade.

As a result, the company said it would "unallocate" production at three assembly plants that build sedans: Oshawa Assembly in Canada, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan, and Lordstown Assembly in Ohio.

To unallocate production simply means GM won't assign any models to be produced at these facilities beyond 2019. According to Matthew DeBord, Business Insider's senior transportation correspondent, GM can't officially close these plants under its current UAW contract, set to be renegotiated in 2019.

GM said it would also idle two factories in Maryland and Michigan that supply transmissions to those three assembly plants.

The company also announced it would reduce its salaried and salaried contract employees by 15%, including a 25% reduction in the number of executives. That equates to more than 14,000 jobs.

GM says the new strategy will save the company $6 billion.

As for the cars made at the soon-to-be-idled plants, GM has confirmed that they too will get the ax.

Based on the numbers, the automaker's move away from sedans makes sense. Through the first three quarters of this year, GM's US sales were down 1.2%, though its sedans performed, on the whole, substantially worse.

For example, US sales of the Lordstown-produced Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan were down 26.5% from the same period last year. The Hamtramck-made Chevrolet Volt range-extended EV saw sales fall by 13.7%, while sales of the full-size Chevy Impala, made at Oshawa and Hamtramck, were down 13.4%.

Hamtramck's Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CT6 saw sales fall by 14.2% and 10.6%. The only model set to get the ax with positive sales growth is Oshawa's Cadillac XTS, which was up 15.9%.

While sales have slipped, many of GM's sedans have earned critical acclaim. For example, the current-generation full-size Impala has long been praised for its comfort and refinement and has frequently appeared on Consumer Reports' "Top Picks" list.

"The Impala continues to be a gem among large cars, providing a driving experience that's more akin to a luxury car," the publication said of the Chevy earlier this year.

The Cadillac CT6 represents a high point of American luxury-car making.

"The Cadillac's superb amalgamation of luxury and performance makes the CT6 a true standout in the luxury market," Business Insider said in a 2017 comparison with the Lincoln Continental.

And then there's the Chevrolet Volt. The range-extended EV helped push GM toward the forefront of production electric-propulsion technology when it debuted in 2011. The current-generation Volt debuted in 2016 with expanded capabilities.

Here's a closer look at the six sedans GM is set to discontinue:

1. Chevrolet Cruze: Production ends March 1. The company sold 109,662 in the US through September.

2. Chevrolet Volt: Production ends March 1. The company sold 13,243 in the US through September.

3. Buick LaCrosse: Production ends March 1. The company sold 13,409 through September.

4. Chevrolet Impala: Production ends June 1. The company sold 43,952 through September.

5. Cadillac CT6: Production ends June 1. The company sold 7,270 through September.

6. Cadillac XTS: Production ends Q4 2019. The company sold 12,664 through September.
CTV News, Canada
written by Staff
Sunday November 25, 2018

Numerous sources have told CTV Toronto that General Motors is planning to close all operations in Oshawa, Ont., affecting thousands of high-paying jobs.

The announcement is expected to be made on Monday, in the city of about 159,000 people located roughly 60 kilometres east of Toronto.

Sources say the Oshawa closures are part of a global restructuring aimed at moving toward lower-emission vehicles. Plants in the United States are also expected to close, although other GM operations in Ontario appear to be safe.

In an emailed statement to CTV Toronto, GM spokesperson David Paterson said the company “won’t be commenting ... on speculation.”

There are currently about 2,500 union positions and roughly 300 salaried employees in the Oshawa area. GM employs thousands more in Ingersoll, Markham and St. Catharines.

Unifor, which represents the hourly workers, said Sunday that it “does not have complete details” of the announcement but has “been informed that, as of now, there is no product allocated to the Oshawa Assembly Plant past December 2019.”

“Based on commitments made during 2016 contract negotiations, Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit of that agreement,” the union’s statement said.

“Unifor is scheduled to hold a discussion with General Motors tomorrow and will provide further comment following the meeting,” the union added.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer tweeted that his “heart goes out to all those affected by this devastating decision.”

A source with the federal government confirmed to CTV News that they are aware of the situation and concerned about Monday's announcement.

Conservative MP Erin O’Toole, who represents the riding of Durham, said on Twitter that, “from the calls I have been making tonight, it appears these reports about an end to vehicle assembly in Oshawa are true.”

“This is devastating news to families in Oshawa, the Durham region and all of Ontario,” O’Toole added. “Growing up, my father worked at GM much like the parents of many of my friends. I think of these families tonight and pledge to get to the bottom of why this is happening and whether the decision can be reversed.”

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French, a New Democrat, told CP24 that “if the news is true,” then Oshawa is “bracing ourselves for a fight.”

“Let’s be real here,” French said. “GM didn’t build Oshawa, Oshawa built GM.”

More than 100 years of history

GM’s history in Canada dates back more than 100 years. GM merged with McLaughlin Buicks in 1918. The Oshawa Assembly Plant opened in 1953.

By the early 1980s, more than 23,000 workers were employed at GM in Oshawa.

The Oshawa Assembly plant recently became the only factory in North America capable of building both cars and trucks.

Outgoing Oshawa Mayor John Henry told CTV Toronto’s Miranda Anthistle that he’s hoping the plant closure is “just a rumour” because GM is a “huge economic engine to the community.”

“My entire family has worked at General Motors,” said Henry. “My dad was a foreman in the plant. I have two brothers in the plant. My sister worked there in university. I worked there as a contractor.”

At the same time, Henry said that Oshawa’s economy has diversified so that it is no longer dependent on the auto industry.

“It’s very different now than when I was growing up, when everyone you knew was working in the plant,” he said.

“We’ve diversified and we have a lot of other things going on,” he added. “But the car industry is still a big part of our community.”

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