Canadian Manufacturing

GM to build new transmission in St. Catharines



ST. CATHARINES, Ont.: General Motors of Canada will build a new line of fuel-efficient transmissions at its plant in St. Catharines, Ont.

The auto maker says strong customer demand pushed the $245-million project ahead four months.

The Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) says the investment is expected to secure about 500 existing jobs at GM’s St. Catharines plant and will keep it running for at least another 15 to 20 years.

The plant will supply transmissions to both the CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll and the Oshawa Assembly Plant for the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Buick Regal.

Today’s move follows GM’s announcement in April that it will invest $235 million in the St. Catharines plant to build new V8 engines, securing about 400 jobs.

“The assistance we provided last year to GM Canada has enabled its transformation into a company that is poised for growth,” said Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.  “We are encouraged by this further evidence that GM Canada is on the road to recovery, and its commitment to doing business in Canada.”

The new transmission is based on GM’s current Hydra-matic 6T40/45 transmission and will take advantage of the newest developments in performance and fuel efficiency.

“Strong customer demand for our new vehicles is driving improved financial results and the rapid capacity expansion under way,” said Kevin Williams, president and managing director of GM Canada. “Retail sales of our [vehicles] are outpacing industry growth, up over 22 percent so far this year.”

General Motors of Canada (GMCL) is headquartered in Oshawa, Ont. and employs 9,000 people nationwide.  GM of Canada manufactures vehicles and powertrains, and markets the full range of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles and related services.

With files from Canadian Press

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