[Notice the 2008 production start reference in bold.]
Tax cuts needed to get Camaro, GM says
Oshawa needs jobs, governments being told
Durham vows to consider reduction for 2007
Mar. 30, 2006. 01:00 AM
General Motors Corp. is shopping for government tax reductions to support building a new car at its mammoth Oshawa complex.
Top executives have been at meetings in Oshawa and Durham Region in recent days asking for a reduction in GM's local tax bill of $25 million.Queen's Park is getting the same pitch tomorrow ? please cut taxes so Oshawa can become home to a reinvention of the Camaro muscle car.
Oshawa Mayor John Gray has his council behind GM's request for an immediate end to a large industry surtax in Durham Region.But Durham Region Council, which must make the final decision, yesterday rejected an immediate tax cut of about $500,000 for GM ? but said it will consider a reduction for 2007.
Last November, GM announced a major restructuring that will include the loss of a production shift and an Oshawa assembly line, about 3,500 jobs.Just the talk of this big a job loss in Canada's largest automotive centre has sent shock waves through the local business community and United Way donations tumbling.
Miriam Christie, GM Canada's manager of corporate affairs, told regional council yesterday that if GM decides to revive the Camaro, with production beginning in 2008
, Oshawa must still line up at the door in Detroit and make its case to the top brass."We will have to make our case as the production case sometime this summer," Christie told council. "Every little advantage we can show at the table increases our prospects of being picked.
"GM recently won concessions from the Canadian Auto Workers geared toward making a business case for building the Camaro in Oshawa. Other vehicles could follow, Christie said, thanks to a new flexible assembly line that will allow product changes without massive retooling.Durham Region already has a plan in place to level the tax playing field for large industries in the region by 2009, said chairman Roger Anderson ? advanced to 2008 last week, after GM's pitch."If the new car is not gong to be produced here until 2008, couldn't you just tell head office what the tax deal will be in that year?" he asked.