Canadian GM Workers Could See New Year's Layoff
Tue, 12/04/2007 - 11:31am
TORONTO — General Motors and Ford have lowered their production plans for the first three months of 2008, and employees assembling GM pickups in Oshawa, Ont., will be among the first to be affected.
General Motors of Canada spokeswoman Patty Faith said Tuesday that the Oshawa truck plant, assembling the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, ''will be impacted the weeks of Dec. 31 and Jan. 7.''
General Motors, whose November sales were down 11 per cent in the United States and 10.2 per cent in Canada compared with a year ago, said Monday it expects to produce 950,000 North American vehicles from January through March, down 11 per cent from its output in the first quarter of 2007.
Ford, whose November sales were flat in the United States and down 8.4 per cent in Canada, said it plans to make 685,000 vehicles in the first quarter, a seven per cent decline.
A Ford spokeswoman had no immediate comment Tuesday on the cutbacks.
Ford's senior sales analyst, George Pipas, is forecasting that industry sales in the first half of 2008 will be the slowest in a decade.
Pipas said Tuesday from Detroit that the automaker does not specify how and where output reductions will hit. However, he noted that Ford's planned seven per cent slowdown includes a six per cent decline from year-earlier passenger car output and an eight per cent pullback in light trucks, ''so it's pretty evenly distributed.''
Ford of Canada has a plant in Oakville, Ont., assembling the Edge crossover, which has been selling relatively strongly, and another in St. Thomas, Ont., making the Grand Victoria large sedan, which has not.
General Motors Canada, in addition to its 3,900-employee truck plant, has about 5,600 workers in Oshawa assembling Chevrolet Impala, Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Allure sedans.
GM also has a joint venture with Suzuki at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont., which makes the strong-selling Pontiac Torrent and Chevrolet Equinox crossovers.
Other major GM factories in Canada include a 1,300-employee transmission plant in Windsor, Ont., and a 2,500-employee power-train plant in St. Catharines, Ont.