GM Announces Makeover of Oshawa Plant

General Motors (NYSE:GM) has had a change of heart concerning its automotive plant in Oshawa, Ontario.

The U.S.-based automaker has announced that, rather than shutter the Oshawa plant completely, as had been planned, it will now invest $170 million to transition the facility from manufacturing vehicles to stamping, sub-assembly and autonomous vehicle testing.

General Motors Canada President Travis Hester said the transition plan will save 300 of 2,600 unionized jobs at the Oshawa plant. Hester made the announcement in Toronto alongside Unifor National President Jerry Dias. He said the transformed plant will have the potential to grow and attract more jobs as the facility attracts new customers.

GM had announced last autumn that it would cease production at the Oshawa plant by the end of 2019, impacting 2,600 workers. Hester told reporters that the Oshawa site will still end vehicle production at the end of the year but added that 22 hectares of the facility will be converted into a test track for autonomous and other advanced vehicles.

General Motors has also announced that it is establishing a "jobs action centre" in Oshawa to help employees plan for their futures. The centre will receive support from GM, Unifor and the Government of Ontario, and will match employee skills with requirements from new employers.