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Old 08-23-2006, 04:08 PM   #12
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Chevy Camaro will be built in Canada

Jamie LaReau | | Automotive News / August 21, 2006 - 11:36 am / UPDATED: 8/21/06 3:35 P.M.

DETROIT -- General Motors will build the new Chevrolet Camaro at its Oshawa, Ontario, plant. Early production versions of the car will be produced by the end of 2008, with sales starting in the first quarter of 2009.

GM will begin preparing the plant immediately and will invest $740 million Canadian ($657.7 million U.S.) in the program and conversion of the plant to a flexible manufacturing factory, GM said in a statement.

GM chose the Oshawa plant because of its strong relationships with the Canadian Auto Workers and federal, provincial and local governments, said Arturo Elias, president of GM Canada, in a statement. Oshawa also has a reputation for "the industry's best quality and productivity," Elias added.

"Earning the mandate for the new Camaro is a huge accomplishment and is due in part to the reputation of our members for producing great quality vehicles," said Buzz Hargrove, CAW president, in a statement. He said CAW Local 222 has offered an "innovative local agreement" that helped build a viable business case for the Camaro.

GM unveiled a concept version of the Camaro at the Detroit auto show in January. This month, GM said it would build a production version of the vehicle. GM executives say the production vehicle will strongly resemble the concept car.

"The interiors will actually be better on the production version," said GM CEO Rick Wagoner during an event on Friday, Aug. 18.

Wagoner said the goal is to keep the exterior design intact, have a great price point and a great powertrain.

Wagoner declined to say if Pontiac might receive a similar product or perhaps revive the Firebird, but hinted that John Larson, GM's general manager of Buick, Pontiac and GMC, is pushing for it.

"John Larson and I talked about it the other day," Wagoner said, stopping short of committing to any other details of the conversation.


You may e-mail Jamie LaReau at jlareau@crain.com
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