GM Canada has announced a $245 million investment in its St. Catharines Powertrain facility to build fuel efficient six-speed transmissions.
With employees, union officials and local, provincial and federal dignitaries on hand, General Motors of Canada president and managing director, Kevin Williams, made the announcement. The facility will be expanded to produce the fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions beginning in early 2012.
The investment builds on the good news for the St. Catharines facility, which also recently announced a $235 million investment to support next generation engine production beginning in 2013. Together, these production investments will secure some 800 jobs at the plant.
“The assistance we provided last year to GM Canada has enabled its transformation into a company that is poised for growth,” said the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. “We are encouraged by this further evidence that GM Canada is on the road to recovery, and its commitment to doing business in Canada.”
“Last year, we stood behind GM Canada with unprecedented support to help the company restructure and today’s announcement continues the positive results following that decision,” said Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and MPP for St.Catharines, the Honourable Jim Bradley. “Some 800 families in the St. Catharines area now have a brighter future thanks to GM’s investment plans and, combined with the spin-off jobs created, this will be a tremendous boost for our economy.”
“Thanks to the support we received, we’ve transformed our business and have a strong foundation for success going forward,” said Kevin Williams, president and managing director of GM Canada. “Strong customer demand for our new vehicles is driving improved financial results and the rapid capacity expansion under way. Retail sales of our Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles are outpacing industry growth, up over 22% so far this year – strong confirmation that our products and dealers are connecting with customers in a very positive way.”
The six-speed transmission to be built in St. Catharines will offer a wide range of benefits including improved fuel efficiency and vehicle performance. The plant will supply transmissions to both the CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll and the Oshawa Assembly Plant for the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Buick Regal. The new transmission is based on the design of GM’s current Hydra-matic 6T40/45 transmission found in more than a million vehicles around the world.
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