The Camaro is likely to be the first of several rear-wheel-drive vehicles to be built in General Motors' Oshawa, Ontario, plant complex.
The car plant now builds the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo on Line 1 and the Buick LaCrosse, Allure and Pontiac Grand Prix on Line 2. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are built at its truck plant. All cars will be assembled on Line 2 next year.
GM will convert Line 1 to assemble cars on its new rwd Zeta platform and build a flexible manufacturing system to prepare for Camaro production in the fourth quarter of 2008, GM has said. GM is investing $740 million Canadian (about $660 million U.S.) in Oshawa.
Canadian Auto Workers officials say the car plant is likely to get other products on the Zeta architecture, which will be used for the Camaro.
"This is the first step," CAW President Buzz Hargrove said in an Automotive News interview. "GM is not putting three-quarters of a billion into the Oshawa plant for nothing. There has to be further commitments to products down the road."
GM is reportedly considering rwd cars for Chevrolet and Pontiac.
Gary Cowger, GM's group vice president of global manufacturing and labor relations, said in an e-mail that the plant should be able to build rwd, fwd and all-wheel-drive vehicles on the same line. But Cowger adds, "that is not to say that plant actually will. We are only talking about the Camaro thus far."
But a GM source says it is likely Oshawa will get other vehicles because of flexible manufacturing.
You may e-mail Jamie LaReau at [email protected]