• GM Stops Blazer Production

GM Stops Blazer Production While Oshawa Impala Restarts

On Friday Impala sedan production restarted, putting 750 workers back on the job

Evan Williams By: Evan Williams October 21, 2019

While the UAW and General Motors have reached a tentative agreement for a new contract, the UAW’s strike against the automaker continues. And that’s led to additional production stoppages outside of the US. Though there’s been a restart in Canada.

The latest vehicle to see production halted is the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer. The new this year crossover is manufactured at GM’s Ramos Arizpe Vehicle Assembly in Mexico, where production had been ongoing despite the labour action. It’s now stopped, the result of a parts shortage.

That’s because while all of the components are put together at the final assembly plant, those components come from all over. The 2.5L four-cylinder engine, for example, is built at plants in NY and TN and the 3.6L V6 is built at GM’s Romulus facility near Detroit. That doesn’t get into the thousands of other components in the vehicle that come from across the globe, including strike-affected plants in the US.

The Blazer is done until the strike is over, but its platform-mate the Chevy Equinox is still in production in Mexico, and in Canada. “Production of the Blazer will be down until the strike is done,” GM spokesperson Dan Flores told The Detroit Free Press. “But production of the (Chevrolet) Equinox is running normally at Mexico and Canada plants.”

The CAMI plant in Ingersoll, ON, is able to remain in production because GM was storing components in anticipation of the possible strike.

Some workers in Oshawa are now back on the job, the Free Press reports. The Oshawa Assembly plant, which assembled the Chevrolet Impala as well as previous-generation GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups, had closed days after the strike began. Truck production won’t restart for now, but on Friday Impala sedan production restarted, the report says. That put 750 workers at that facility back on the job, because there were enough parts available. Though Flores said that it will only be for a few weeks, at which time production of the discontinued sedan will end permanently. The report said that the stamping operation in Oshawa, which stamps metal for the CAMI plant’s Equinoxes, remains open.

The UAW said in a statement last week that ratification informational meetings and voting would start beginning October 19th, set to end this Friday. If it is accepted, a timeline for return to work would follow.