GM’s Oshawa plant increases truck production, CAMI gets electric van


General Motors added a second shift of Chevrolet Silverado heavy-duty models at its Oshawa assembly plant on Monday to ensure the automaker can keep up with demand. There are also plans to start a third shift to ramp up production of light-duty pickups, after GM struggled to deliver vehicles on time over the past two years.

General Motors Canada recently hosted officials from the Canadian federal government eager to show that its $2 billion investment in Ontario manufacturing, particularly in Oshawa and CAMI assembly, has paid off. While this will eventually include production of BrightDrop’s all-electric, permanently connected Zevo minivan, GM is currently focusing on ramping up production of some of its most valuable products.

This comes after the automaker opted to cut production of the Cadillac sedan and Chevrolet Camaro, which we previously thought was done to avoid further shorting GM’s more lucrative models.

Premier Doug Ford said the investment is GM’s vote of confidence in Ontario as concrete evidence that future cars (he’s talking about those Zevo 400/600 delivery vans) will be built in his province. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also praised GM for spending money in Canada to focus on electric vehicle production.

“Across Oshawa, Ingersoll and communities across Ontario, automakers are stepping up to meet the demand for cleaner vehicles and creating thousands of good jobs in the process,” Trudeau said. “Today’s investments are investments in our workers, our communities and our future. Partnerships like this are critical to putting Canada at the forefront of a clean economy, creating thousands of new jobs and ensuring future generations have a clean living environment is crucial.

In return, the federal and Ontario governments announced investments of up to $259 million each in General Motors’ Oshawa plant and its CAMI plant in Ingersoll.

Production of the BrightDrop Zevo 400 and Zevo 600 electric vans is expected to begin at the CAMI facility in the fourth quarter of 2022. Both rely entirely on GM’s Ultium model battery design and engine technology. Ultium drives are projected at 30,000 vehicle-years each. Meanwhile, production of the lightweight Silverado 1500 will begin at the Oshawa assembly plant shortly after the automaker retools its factory for its HD counterpart late last year.

[Image: General Motors]

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