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General Motors’ Oshawa Car Assembly plant is one of the largest automotive manufacturing facilities in the world, covering some 10-million square feet of factory floor space and employing some 4,000 full-time workers.
The Oshawa plant will soon get a bit smaller, as GM has announced the closure of the Consolidated Line that builds the current generation Chevrolet Impala and as-needed inventory of the Chevrolet Equinox. The Globe and Mail says that the plant building these two models will close next year, reducing Oshawa’s workforce by some 2,000 employees.
Should GM opt to add a third shift to the neighboring Flex Line plant that builds the Camaro, Regal and XTS, some of the eliminated jobs could be preserved (although GM calls it "too early" to predict the overall labor impact on the plant). Oshawa's Flex Line will reportedly get some production of the new Impala, but exactly how much remains a mystery; production of the Equinox will be split between the CAMI Automotive plant in Ingersoll and, later in the year, Saturn’s former plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
GM Canada's communications director, Faye Roberts, has confirmed that the shut down of the Oshawa Consolidated Line will be phased in shifts, with the elimination of the third shift occurring in the fourth quarter of this year. A second shift will be eliminated in the first quarter of 2013, before the line is closed entirely in June of next year, corresponding with the end of current Impala production.
Closure of the Oshawa Consolidated Line was originally announced in 2005, slated for 2008. Steady demand for the Impala sedan and the addition of Equinox production gave the plant a five-year life extension.