General Motors of Canada Limited (GM Canada) is the name of General Motors' Canadian division. Its national headquarters office, Canadian Regional Engineering Centre, and main manufacturing plants are located in Oshawa, Ontario. GM Canada is 100% owned by GM.[1]

As of Apr. 24, 2009, GM Canada has received a combined loan commitment of C$3 billion from the Canadian and Ontario governments as it deals with major financial problems amid falling sales.[2]


Founded in 1918, GM Canada was formed by the purchase of the McLaughlin Motor Car Co., manufacturer since 1907[3] of the McLaughlin automobile based on the Buick Model F, Canadianized with a McLaughlin carriage as its body. From 1910 onward, the cars were well-known across Canada as McLaughlin-Buicks and prominently identified as such, in recognition of their Buick heritage. Prior to becoming GM Canada, McLaughlin had acquired the approval of William C. Durant, then owner of the Chevrolet Motor Co. and preceding its entry into the GM product line, to produce Chevrolet automobiles in Canada, along with the McLaughlin-Buicks.[4]

It is a private subsidiary that is wholly owned by General Motors, so information such as assets, revenues, and profits is not disclosed. Nonetheless, GM Canada has historically been one of the largest and most powerful corporations in Canada, being listed as the third "largest" in 1975, and being comparable to several publicly traded companies such as BCE, George Weston Limited, and Royal Bank of Canada.[5]

General Motors of Canada opened its new head office building on the shore of Lake Ontario in 1989. It is a fixture on Highway 401 and usually displays an enormous picture of a new vehicle on the outside of its huge atrium.

GM's Canadian Regional Engineering Centre opened in June, 2001. It is primarily responsible for managing the design and validation of vehicles which are manufactured in Canada, though it supports many joint development efforts with GM operations in other countries.

The manufacturing plants located in Oshawa produce the all-new fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Impala, Buick Allure (rebadged as the LaCrosse for the U.S. market) as well as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. The three plants have continually garnered top quality ratings by J.D. Power.[6] The Oshawa facility was ranked number 1 facility in overall quality in North and South America by J.D. Power and Associates.

General Motors of Canada announced a naming rights deal for the General Motors Centre on October 5, 2006. The centre's main tenants will be the Oshawa Generals Junior hockey team, who were named for the corporation in 1937.

On 27 April 2009, GM Canada announced that it would cut over half of its Canadian jobs and close 40% of its Canadian dealerships by 2014 in response to its parent company's dire financial straits.[7]

2008 Canadian Auto Workers bargaining[]

In an unusual move, General Motors and the Canadian Auto Workers union reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining contract on May 15, 2008, a full four months before the existing contract was due to expire. As part of the agreement, GM pledged to maintain production at the Oshawa, Ontario pickup truck plant and made other production commitments.

On June 3, 2008, less than three weeks after ratification of the new contract, GM announced that, due to soaring gasoline prices and plummeting truck sales, it would close four additional truck and SUV plants, including the Oshawa pickup plant.[8]

In response, the CAW organized a blockade of the GM of Canada headquarters in Oshawa. The blockade was ended by an Ontario Superior Court order, after 12 days. Further discussions between GM and the CAW resulted in an agreement to compensate workers at the truck plant and additional product commitments for the Oshawa car assembly plant.[9]

Canadian factories[]

Plant Location Year opened Year closed Notes
CAMI Automotive 300 Ingersoll Street, Ingersoll, Ontario 1989 GMCL bought out the Suzuki Motors share (50%) on Dec 4 2009 and the plant is now wholly owned by GMCL
Oshawa Car Assembly (Oshawa Assembly Plant #1) 1000 Park Road South, Oshawa, Ontario 1950s
Oshawa Metal 900 Park Road South, Oshawa, Ontario 1986
Windsor Transmission 1550 Kildare Road, Windsor, Ontario 1963 2010
St. Catharines Engine/Transmission 570 Glendale Avenue, St. Catharines, Ontario 1954
St. Catharines Components 285 Ontario Street, St. Catharines, Ontario

Former plants:

Plant Location Year opened Year closed Notes
GM Annex Windsor Ontario 1508 Walker Road, Windsor, Ontario 1940 closed around 1993 now Windsor Expo Centre; main Walker Plant built in 1928; administrative building demolished 1981; formerly Essex Stock Plant 1880s-1919 [10]
GM Trim plant Windsor,Ontario 1600 Lauzon Road, Windsor, Ontario 1965 2008 sold to Peregrine Acquisition Incorporated and continued trim operations; sold Peregine was acquired by Lear Corporation; 700,000 sq.ft. plant has since closed and was being sold by DTZ Barnicke.The plant has been since demolished
Scarborough Van Assembly 1899-1900 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, Ontari 1963 1993 now Eglinton Power Centre
Sainte Therese Assembly 2500 boulevard De la Grande-Allée, Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec 1966 2002 demolished; now residential and commercial development (Faubourg Boisbrand)
Diesel Division of GM Canada 1000 Blvd. Industriel, Saint-Eustache, Quebec 1965 1987 bus plant now NovaBus plant
General Motors Diesel of General Motors of Canada London, Ontario 1950 2005 locomotive and military plant - sold to Electro-Motive Diesel (locomotive division) and General Dynamics (military vehicles)
Oshawa Truck Assembly (Oshawa Assembly Plant #2) 1100 Park Road South, Oshawa, Ontario 1965 2009 light truck manufacturing facility closed May 14, 2009

Models currently made in Canada[]

See also[]

  • General Motors
  • Samuel McLaughlin - The first President of GM Canada
  • Final Offer - documentary film that shows the 1984 contract negotiations
  • Canadian Military Pattern truck - An important part of GM Canada's contribution to the war effort in World War II

General Motors Company

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