Bill Kelly: GM’s Oshawa shutdown a punch to the gut for auto industry

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the “ship has left the dock” when it comes to stopping the Oshawa GM plant closure. Now the focus is on its employees and what can be done to help them. Jamie Mauracher reports.

I suppose, in hindsight, we should have seen this coming.

We’ve known for some time that North American consumers just aren’t buying sedans much anymore, especially not North American ones.

And when Ford announced a few months ago that they were phasing out production of their sedan models in favour of trucks and SUVs, we should have figured that General Motors would eventually follow suit.

READ MORE: General Motors closure in Oshawa not a symptom of Trump’s trade battle: experts

Nonetheless, the announced closure of the GM Oshawa operation is still a punch to the gut for the auto industry.

While the loss of 2,500 jobs is devastating to those families and the Oshawa economy, it would be premature and foolish to sound the death knell for the Canadian auto industry just yet.

WATCH: Oshawa mayor says GM closure is a ‘sad day,’ hopes city will be heard through talks

Oshawa mayor says GM closure is a ‘sad day’, hopes city will be heard through talks
Oshawa mayor says GM closure is a ‘sad day’, hopes city will be heard through talks
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There are still about 125,000 people working in the auto sector in Canada and about 700 parts manufacturers, and of course sales staff and mechanics in the dealerships.

However, there are some legitimate concerns about what kind of ripple effect the Oshawa closure will have on the industry.

READ MORE: GM Oshawa plant closing could affect nearly 15 per cent of auto industry jobs

But more importantly, as GM, Ford and Chrysler re-assess what kind of vehicles they will produce and where they’ll produce them, Canadian workers are wondering what role Canada will play in the industry going forward.

After the shocking announcement about the Oshawa plant, the frightening reality is, we just don’t know.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML

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