Guelph-based Linamar expects minimal impact from General Motors closures

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General Motors to close operations at Oshawa plant in 2019
General Motors is shutting down its Oshawa, Ont., plant in 2019, putting more than 2,500 employees out of work, as the automobile giant forges ahead with its global restructuring plan – Nov 26, 2018

The CEO of Guelph-based Linamar Corporation says the manufacturing company is expecting “minimal to no impact” by the closure of some of General Motors’ facilities, including their Oshawa plant.

In a statement provided on Monday afternoon, Linda Hasenfratz said Linamar primarily supplies product for powertrain platforms to a variety of GM plants, mostly in the U.S.

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“As long as GM continues to build these powertrain platforms, which it appears they will, we would not expect to see any change to demand,” Hasenfratz said.

General Motors announced on Monday it will close their assembly plant in Oshawa along with four other facilities in the U.S.

It’s expected that 2,500 jobs would be lost when the plant closes in 2019.

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GM said part of the restructuring plan includes a greater focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.

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University of Guelph provost and vice president Charlotte Yates has spent 30 years studying labour relations in the automotive industry and questioned the move.

“Electric vehicles still only make up a very small portion of the market in terms of vehicles sold,” she said in a phone interview. “But clearly, their estimation is that that’s where some of their competitive edge will be.”

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Yates said she wasn’t surprised by the move, given what analysts have predicted for years.

GM said the move could save US$6 billion by 2020.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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