DETROIT -- General Motors Co. said it will add a third shift to its plant in Oshawa, Ontario, to help meet consumer demand for the Chevrolet Equinox crossover.
The Equinox and the GMC Terrain are currently built in Ingersoll, Ontario, at the automaker's CAMI plant. GM had already said it would expand CAMI's body shop, and the automaker said in a statement today it will ship those body assemblies to Oshawa for painting and final assembly.
The third shift at Oshawa will come on line in October, returning about 600 workers to the plant. The expanded CAMI body shop will recall all laid off workers and prompt GM to hire about 70 new ones by August. Moving some Equinox assembly to Oshawa, about 130 miles from Ingersoll, will allow CAMI to build more Terrains, GM said.
The increased production can't come too soon for dealers, who have complained for months about not having enough of the small crossovers. Some dealers have said they have their Terrains and Equinoxes sold before they arrive and then must wait weeks to get more.
GM's Ingersoll plant is already running on three shifts, plus about three Saturdays a month. The Equinox started March with a 33-day supply, and the Terrain's supply was 29 days, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Sixty days is considered normal.
Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, had said since January the automaker was considering adding production of Equinoxes and Terrains at one of its other plants. Speculation about which factories GM would choose included two idled plants that lack plans for products: Spring Hill, Tenn., which Reuss has called “a damn good plant”; and Janesville, Wis.