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GM to make next-generation Camaro in Lansing, not Canada

7:33 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS (Courtesy: General Motors)
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DETROIT  (Det. Free Press) -- General Motors said Wednesday that it will build its next-generation Camaro at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant instead of in Oshawa, Ontario, plant.

The move is a possible blow for the Canadian Auto Workers who signed a new labor agreement with GM earlier this year and a plum for Michigan.

"This decision is based on a comprehensive business case," General Motors said in a statement emailed to the Free Press. "Lower capital investment and improved production efficiencies were key factors."

The automaker declined to comment on the timing of the move or say if it will create additional jobs in Michigan.

The CAW called GM's decision "callous" said it is angry with the automaker.

"General Motors has once again shown a complete and utter disregard for its workers and also Canadians in general, whose tax dollars kept the company out of bankruptcy," CAW President Ken Lewenza said in a statement.

In its new four-year labor agreement with GM promised to continue producing the Camaro in Oshawa until the end of the current model's life-cycle, but provided no promises after that.

The Camaro is built on a flexible assembly line along with Buick Regal and the Cadillac XTS.

As part of its new labor contract, GM agreed to add a third shift to the flexible assembly line in 2013 to begin assembly of the next generation of the Chevrolet Impala and add 900 jobs.

However, GM also will make the next-generation Impala at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant. Also, GM plans to close another assembly line in Oshawa where GM makes the Equinox and the current version of the Impala in 2014.

In addition to GM jobs, Lewenza said, moving Camaro production to Michigan could cause the closure of several auto suppliers in the Toronto area.

"This decision will cause yet another devastating shock to the Durham Region and the country's auto industry," said Lewenza.

GM began production of the iconic muscle car in Oshawa on a flexible assembly line in 2009 after a seven-year hiatus. The Camaro was phased out in 2002.

By Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press business writer

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