Along with the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, the Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most recognized American muscle cars. But ever since the fourth-generation Camaro was released in the early '90s, the iconic U.S. car has been manufactured in Canada.
That will end when the last 2015 Camaro rolls off the General Motors Canada assembly line in Oshawa, Ontario, on Nov. 20. The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro that goes on sale in the fourth quarter will be made in Lansing, Michigan. The shift is part of a $5.4 billion package of investments General Motors has slated for its U.S operations over the next three years.
GM said last week it would invest $175 million to upgrade its Lansing plant to accommodate the new Camaro, which will go on sale in the fourth quarter. The vehicle will be built on the same platform in Lansing as the Cadillac CTS and ATS midsize and compact luxury sedans.
“With this investment in tooling and equipment, we will continue to do our part to build on the high-quality reputation of this iconic car,” Scott Whybrew, GM’s manager of North American manufacturing, said in a statement.
So far, the Detroit automaker has committed $2.8 billion of the $5.4 billion to various projects announced since the start of May, including $1.2 billion to upgrade its Roanoke, Indiana, plant where the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickup trucks are made. GM is also investing $439 million in the Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant that makes the Chevrolet Corvette, an investment that includes the installation of Japanese Fanuc robots.
Repatriating Camaro manufacturing will cost Canada 1,000 jobs. The Oshawa plant's remaining 2,600 will continue to make the Cadillac XTS full-size luxury car, the Buick Regal midsize car, the Chevrolet Impala full-size car and the Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover SUV.
GM is in negotiations with Unifor, Canada’s largest trade union, that will determine the future of GM’s Canadian manufacturing operations. So far, GM has not committed any of its $5.4 billion in planned investments to its operations just north of its Detroit stronghold.
“We knew it [losing the Camaro] was coming but it doesn’t make it any easier when it gets here,” Unifor president Jerry Dias told the Globe and Mail recently. “The timing of it – with the $5.4 billion in the U.S. – the timing could have been better for sure.” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will continue to manufacture the Dodge Challenger at the company’s Brampton, Ontario, factory.
The Ford Mustang is the only one of the three iconic American muscle cars that has never been produced outside the U.S. The Mustang is currently made in Flat Rock, Michigan. Before that it was produced in Dearborn, Michigan; Edison, New Jersey; and Milpitas, California.