A year and six days ago, General Motors announced that vehicle production would be returning to the Oshawa Assembly Plant, with the company starting off building HD pickups at the plant in the first quarter of 2022. Months ahead of schedule, despite a global pandemic, massive shortages affecting global semiconductor markets, and building 10 million face masks at the site, the first new Silverado HD has just left the assembly line.
The automaker says it is one of the fastest plant launches in the company’s history and will help it meet strong demand across North America for its HD pickups. The first truck, a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD will be auctioned off to support Sharon’s Kids, a Durham Region charity that was started by former GM employee Sharon Clark more than 50 years ago.
“The reopening of Oshawa Assembly is an historic accomplishment for GM Canada and our many community partners who worked together to bring us to this very happy day,” said Scott Bell, GM Canada president and managing director. “The rapid retooling, hiring, and training needed to reach today’s start of production was an extraordinary accomplishment.” GM invested $1.3B into the plant to make it ready for new truck production, including a new body shop and flexible assembly modules.
Reopening the plant has created 1,800 new jobs, GM says, for workers covering two shifts building Chevrolet and GMC pickups. GM Canada said that more than 50 percent of new hires for production are women, a first for the facility and what the automaker calls an important step in the company’s inclusivity efforts. In addition to the direct jobs, GM says thousands more will be created at suppliers in the region.
GM Oshawa first opened in 1907, building Chevrolets before that automaker became part of General Motors. Closure f the plant was announced in late 2018, with what was then the final vehicle rolling off of the assembly line in December of 2019. Production of GM’s light duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups is expected to begin next year.