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GM Canada to make major R&D announcement in Oshawa today

Several hundred million dollars to be spent by 2016: watch for details.


July 24, 2012
by CANADIAN PRESS

OSHAWA, Ont.: GM Canada plans to announce an investment in Canadian research and development at its complex in Oshawa, Ont. today (July 24).

Kevin Williams, president of GM Canada will deliver the news at the company’s Canadian Engineering Centre.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty are among the politicians who will attend the event.

The Oshawa plant builds many GM models – from the Impala and Camaro to the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Regal – and employs more than 4,500 people.
GM Canada declined to provide more details about the event.

However, the Globe and Mail reported that GM Canada will spend several hundred million dollars on R&D by 2016 to meet the conditions of its 2009 bailout.

The newspaper said the projects to be initiated or expanded between now and 2016 are expected to focus on environmental technologies, electric vehicles, vehicle weight reduction and so-called intelligent transportation systems.

The federal and Ontario governments invested a total of $10.5 billion in GM Canada in 2009 as the automaker struggled to survive the economic downturn.

The company shut down a truck plant in Oshawa and a transmission plant in Windsor, Ont., and cut its workforce.

Since the restructuring, GM has eliminated all but four of its brands and has transformed itself into a much leaner, more profitable company.

The Oshawa assembly plant has had major changes in the last two years, with new vehicle models and expanded production that added two new shifts and 1,300 jobs.
Last August, the company announced a $117 million investment at the assembly plant to prepare it to build the new Cadillac XTS.

GM Canada employs about 10,000 people at its Ontario-based operations. The company operates assembly plants in Oshawa and Ingersoll and parts plants in St. Catharines.

© 2012 The Canadian Press