In 2018 General Motors announced that it would shut down multiple assembly plants in a wide-sweeping restructuring that sank a few product programs in the process, and kickstarted some others. Assembly plants that had been selected for shutdown – Lordstown, Oshawa, Detroit-Hamtramck and others – were almost entirely focused on building passenger cars or supporting passenger cars as consumers were increasing their already massive appetite for trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD, as and SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.
“Retooled In Record Time”
The General Motors Oshawa Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada was one of those five plants to get mothballed, with the last vehicle rolling off the assembly line in December of 2019. Plans to repurpose the facility were underway, but the automaker changed direction somewhere in the past year and a half, and GM decided to utilize Oshawa Assembly’s massive footprint to help meet demand for what the automaker does best: full-size pickup trucks.
GM says that this turnaround was one of the fastest retoolings of any GM facility. Along with the updates needed to build the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD, some 1,800 employees were hired and trained. And within just a few weeks, the plant was in full swing, and the first Chevrolet Silverado HD pickup has already rolled its way off the assembly line. Vehicle deliveries are expected to happen next month.
The Oshawa Assembly Plant isn’t just assisting with the demand for the Chevrolet Silverado HD, but it’s also boosting Canada’s economy in the automotive sector. The 1,800 new jobs are only within the assembly plant, but GM is also supporting thousands of additional jobs for part suppliers in the country by bringing production back to Canada.
Meeting Chevrolet Silverado HD And GMC Sierra HD Demand
The global microchip shortage is well documented, and General Motors has been forced to prioritize its rations of chips to its most lucrative vehicles. That pretty much encompasses every full-size truck and SUV that the company makes, while assembly plants for vehicles like the Chevrolet Camaro get the shaft. While this is happening, demand for full-size trucks and SUVs – either out of fear or necessity – has gone through the roof. So much so that it’s affected used truck prices greatly, with prices jumping on average of $5,000 USD across all used vehicles. As automakers deal with the chip crisis to produce in-demand products, these price spikes should subside, and what’s happening at the GM Oshawa Assembly Plant should contribute to exactly that.