GM Invests in Canadian Plant

Dec. 17, 2011
Oshawa assembly plant receives second investment since August, signaling 'continued strengthening of the North American auto sector,' company says.

General Motors announced Friday a Can$68 million (US$65.5 million) investment in an Oshawa assembly plant assigned to share building of its next-generation Chevrolet Impala car.

The plant had already received a Can$117 million ($112.8 million) infusion in August to build the American car company's new Cadillac XTS starting next year.

The combined investments will create or retain approximately 750 jobs, and bring GM's commitment to build new vehicles in Canada to five, according to the company.

"This marks an important step forward in GMs recovery and underscores the continued strengthening of the North American auto sector," Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a statement.

Last year, Canada sold nearly 20% of its stake in General Motors, or 30.5 million shares, obtained as part of a government bailout of the auto sector in 2009.

The U.S. government had contributed Can$50 billion ($48 billion) in emergency funds to GM while Ottawa and the province of Ontario provided Can$9.5 billion ($9.2 billion) to help the company stay afloat.

Canada and Ontario raised almost Can$1.2 billion ($1.2 billion) in the stock sale, drawing down their combined stake in the company from 11.7% to about 9%.

GM's Oshawa plant recently launched the Buick Regal, Chevrolet Camaro Convertible and Chevrolet Equinox, adding two new shifts.

Its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant will also build the new Impala, expected to be a hot seller.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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