Rumbles of change in the automotive industry erupted this week with General Motor's announcement it will close its storied Oshawa assembly plant as part of a shift towards electric and autonomous vehicles.
Mike Prencipe, part-owner and director of Mississauga-based packager TEC Business Solutions, said the company started shifting business away from exposure to the Oshawa plant as GM kept cutting back production.
The move is a reflection of an auto sector in flux, facing a retreat in North American auto production, a shift in consumer preference from cars to crossovers, and new competition from tech firms - a new landscape that creates considerable uncertainty for Canada's auto sector.
The UAW vowed to "confront" the decision "through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue", while Canadian union Unifor President Jerry Dias promised "one hell of a fight here in Canada with General Motors".
Canada's employment minister won't say if there is anything the Feds can do to stop this shutdown and save the jobs, although the innovation minister has suggested GM has made up its mind.
"We believe in an all-electric future", Ms. Barra said.
The vehicles being assembled at the three factories will all phase out next year.
"This isn't a situation where you leave GM building one vehicle in Canada, and somehow this is going to end up lovely at the end of the day".
The layoffs and closings are a GM response to falling sales of sedans and compact cars.
"The model of everybody owning their own vehicle will change, and what that will do is it will reduce the number of cars on the road". He adds that there are also big questions about trade and rising interest rates.
In an emailed statement to CTV Toronto, GM spokesperson David Paterson said the company "won't be commenting. on speculation".
President Trump told reporters, "We don't like it; I believe they'll be opening up something else". "And we can do that by being a leader in self-driving and electric and urban mobility services".
Canada and Ontario also backed a 2005 investment by GM to modernize the Oshawa plant's paint shop. "That's a game-changer. And that's an open-ended possibility".
"The competition is very fierce, and it's coming from different places than GM would typically expect it to come from". "Now we're accelerating and picking up the pace".
And just three years ago, Oshawa took a hit when GM moved production of the Chevrolet Camaro to MI, slicing 1,000 jobs in Ontario.
The same trend has Yates anxious about the fate of Fiat Chrysler's Brampton, Ont., plant that assembles the 300C, Charger, and Challenger cars. "Oshawa has been in this situation before with no product on the horizon and we were able to successfully make the case for continued operations".
"If they're not making vehicles there then obviously they don't need our assemblies", he said in an interview Wednesday.
GM has the poorest plant utilization rates in the U.S. Its assembly plants represented about 1 million of the 3.2 million units of underutilized capacity through October, according to Dziczek.
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