General Motors will be spending $250 million for the future vehicle output at an assembly plant in Ontario. GM will equip the CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, with flexible body shop equipment and tooling. This plant produces the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers. With a workforce of about 2,700 employees, this plant had built over 300,000 crossovers in 2012.
Les Bogar, plant manager of CAMI Assembly, posted a message for workers on the Canadian Auto Workers Local 88 website. He wrote that with this investment, 336,000 square feet will be added to the operation to accommodate the new body shop tooling and equipment.
Bogar said that because of flexible body shop equipment and tooling , numerous body panels (floor plans, rocker assemblies, underbodies) can be welded using the same set of programmable tools and robots. GM said that this investment will enable CAMI to make more types of differentiated products, on many platforms, at much smaller costs.
A GM spokeswoman said that these revisions will help to expedite new product delivery. So far, GM hasn’t officially announced any new products. According to GM, construction will begin in the next few weeks and that it’s expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.
In a statement, Kevin Williams, president of General Motors of Canada, said by making its manufacturing operations more flexible, the company is able to give quicker responses to the demand in the market as well as give what customers require. This plant used to be operated by a joint venture of GM and Suzuki Motor Corp.
However, Suzuki stopped production in this plant in June 2009. And in December of that year, GM acquired Suzuki's half of the operation. Carlos Gomes, a Scotiabank auto analyst, said that the plant’s production rose by 5% in January 2013 compared to the previous year. He added that this implies that the company is confident that it will continue to be strong in the U.S. for some time.