August 21 The Rise and Fall of General Motors Sidst udgivet den 21-08-2017


The first modern GM truck plant to open in Canada was in 1965. The truck plant was built in Oshawa, Ontario, on 126 acres of land. This was around the time when Lester B. Pearson negotiated the Auto Pact. This leading to GM investing $120 million in auto plants for Windsor Autel MaxiSys Pro, Ste. Therese, Que., and of course Oshawa. In its peak of production the Oshawa plant turned out 1314 trucks per day, 90% of which was shipped directly to the United States. Due to the constant trade with the states, the company grew, and the workers pocket books grew too. The economy in Ontario was directly affected by the GM plant for the next forty years.

In the 70's, GM formed a Canadian Company called GM Canada Limited. By that time the truck plant rolled its 2 millionth pickup off the floor. Even with the gas shortage, the pickup sales division not only steadied, but grew. By the early 80's, the GM plants boasted having the widest range of trucks and cars in the market. In 1983, GM celebrated by investing another 342 million dollars into Canada. The competitor Ford began selling the F-series, and GM and Chrysler were close on their tails. It wasn't until 1987 when GM rolled out its full-sized pickups and GM sales were on par with Ford. In 1991, 5 new trucks were unveiled and the result was such an increase in GM demand that the Oshawa plant had to start a third shift. A ‘first' for any North American auto plant. Then the internet was born. These were great times for the automotive industry, online inquiries and sales expanded the sales division. By 1999 the Oshawa truck plant rolled out its 7 millionth pickup and the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada award GMC's Sierra ‘truck of the year'.


What happened in the early 2000's was unbelievable. The economy shrunk Autel Diaglink, auto markets eroded, the decline was slow and inevitable. In 2008, two weeks after signing a new 3 year deal with the Canadian Auto Workers Union Autel MaxiDiag MD808, General Motors announced the closing of the infamous Oshawa truck plant. Unlike the banking misdeeds, and the intangible market fallout, the loss of the Oshawa plant was tangible. Unsettlingly so, the factory actually built and produced millions of autos and products, which were performed by thousands of workers. The trickle down effect has affected thousands of suppliers, wholesalers, dealers, service providers and retailers. There is still to this day, no monetary number that can be directly attributed to the GM closure in Oshawa. I would imagine that will take some years to add up, however, the affect the closure has had on the people, the workers, suppliers, wholesalers, dealers, service providers and retailers is right in our faces.

Since June of this year (2009), General Motors of Canada has announced a new restructuring plan from the Ontario and Canadian governments. The new agreements with key shareholders will enable GMC to restructure without the court system. Now what happens in the U.S. court system, does not affect GM Canada. This new outcome has brought back the Oshawa plant, saving the jobs and pensions of tens of thousands of people. What's to come of the GM plant in Oshawa is still left to be seen. Stay tuned.

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