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Ontario GM plant to get $245-million

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Ontario GM plant to get $245-million

Investment will allow St. Catharines facility to produce new, fuel-efficient transmissions

General Motors of Canada Ltd. will begin producing a new, fuel-efficient transmission at a plant in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2012, the auto maker will announce Tuesday, another in a string of investments it has made since its parent company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

The latest announcement is a $245-million plan to build six-speed transmissions to supply assembly plants in Oshawa, Ont., and Ingersoll, Ont., both of which have already boosted or plan to increase vehicle production amid a market recovery and heavy demand for the company’s Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover utility vehicles.

GM has scheduled a news conference at the St. Catharines plant Tuesday morning that will be attended by company president Kevin Williams, federal Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza.



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By Mark Kleis

General Motors has officially announced the investment of an additional $245 million to fund the updating of its transmission production line at the St. Catharines plant in Ontario, Canada, according to the The Vancouver Sun.

Although the investment will not directly create any new jobs, GM says the investment will help to secure the 400 jobs currently at the facility. The investment will also provide GM with a a new fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission, to be used in front-wheel drive applications beginning in the first quarter of 2012.

GM plans to use the transmissions produced by the updated St. Catharines plant for production of the Chevrolet Equinox coming out of the CAMI plant located in Ingersoll, Ontario, as well as the GMC Terrain and Buick Regal, both of which will be produced at the Oshawa, Ontario plant.

Today’s announcement is actually the second announced investment of nearly $250 million for the St. Catharines plant, as GM had previously committed $235 million for the production of a yet-to-be-named V8 engine. In total, GM will invest $480 million and procure 800 jobs for at least the next few years.

The decision to produce transmissions at St. Catharines was not always clear, as GM already had a transmission production facility in Windsor, making the news a welcome move by the local workers and community. “Moving the transmission plant from Windsor to St. Catharines has taken a couple of years, but today (the announcement) is really, really exciting,” said Rick Dykstra, St. Catharines MP.



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