General Motors’ 2021 has been filled with various pandemic and supply chain-related issues, but there’s a bright spot as we near the end of the year. The Detroit Free Press reports that GM’s Oshawa Assembly Plant in Ontario – a facility previously scheduled for closure – has just built its first new 2022 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
Oshawa was on the chopping block back in 2018, as GM designated it and four other facilities to be closed to cut costs. As Detroit Free Press notes, all of those facilities, including Oshawa, built cars, which have fallen behind trucks and SUVs in popularity. Thanks to efforts from the Canadian auto union, Unifor, GM committed $1.1 billion to overhaul Oshawa for trucks, the first of which rolled off the line on Monday. The plant’s new body shop spans 13 acres, and the facility contains 10,300 feet of new conveyors, 310 miles of wiring, and 1,200 new robots.
GM Canada will raffle the first truck to benefit Durham Children’s Aid Foundation. The red Silverado High Country wears VIN 001. Dealers can donate to win the truck, and for every $250 donated the dealer earns another entry. The contest runs until November 29 and the winner will be announced on December 8.
Oshawa’s rebirth comes at a tough time for General Motors. The automaker has temporarily shuttered several of its facilities at various times over the last year as the global microchip shortage has raged on. The plant is reopening far ahead of schedule, too, which will help GM play catch up to meet strong demand. Trucks are due to start shipping from Oshawa in December.