General Motors Oshawa plant adds second production shift

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Published January 25, 2022 at 8:37 am

Heather MacLeod, general assembly chassis operator

Less than 11 weeks after the first Chevrolet Silverado rolled off the line at the re-opened Oshawa Assembly Plant, second shift production has begun.

General Motors announced the hiring and training of 1,800 new jobs to support two-shifts of full-size truck production in November, more than two months ahead of schedule.

It was one of the fastest plant turnarounds in company history and GM wasted little time into ramping up the second shift, which began Monday

“Adding a second shift of truck production so quickly after launch continues Oshawa’s long history of speed and agility and helps GM meet strong customer demand for its largest and most important market segment,” said Scott Bell, GM Canada president and managing director. “And with a new, diverse workforce that includes more women in production roles, the impact of an inclusive culture is immediately noticeable the moment you step inside the plant.”

More than half of the new hires are women. The ratio of women to men prior to 2019 was between 15 and 20 per cent.

The plant shut down in 2019 – many thought for good – but after part of a year with the plant re-purposed to make face masks during the first few months of the pandemic GM announced a $1.3-billion retooling in the fall of 2020.

On November 9 GM resumed automotive production of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverados. Light-duty models will be added to the plant’s repertoire this spring.

Oshawa is the only plant in GM’s arsenal that will make both light- and heavy-duty Chevrolet trucks. GM sells about one million full-size trucks a year, with demand outstripping supply.

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