Sep 20, 2006
The good news just keeps on rolling down at the General Motors autoplex in Oshawa.
Hot on the heels of a move that revamps a past favourite, the Chevrolet Camaro, comes word in a published report that GM Canada has been chosen to build a brand new hydrogen fuel-cell Equinox SUV at the Regional Engineering Centre in Oshawa.
While both the Camaro and Equinox are part of GM's future, they offer an extremely intriguing and different look at how the auto giant is attempting to come to grips with market tastes.
The Camaro is of course a muscle car, a rear-wheel drive attempt at capturing the boomer market which prized their 1960s and 1970s Camaros but now want a sleek new model. It comes out in 2009 and will be built at GM's new flex plant in Oshawa. It secures thousands of jobs for the future and the flex plant allows GM to build other models as market demands and tastes change.
And they could well change to the Equinox SUV or models like it.
That's because concerns about climate change and global warming will make it inevitable that auto emissions standards will markedly toughen in the coming years. And the best thing about those 100 Equinox models that will come out of Oshawa next year? They produce no local emissions; in fact the only byproduct of any kind they produce is a bit of water vapour.
They offer all the necessary ingredients consumers are looking for in a vehicle: the handling, size and comfort of an SUV with no greenhouse gas producing emissions that are harmful to the environment.
In addition, as we begin to run out of the world's supply of oil and as we search for other ways to operate machinery, fuel-cell technology will become vastly more important.
That's why it is so exciting that Durham Region is a central part of GM's future plans to build vehicles that will be in high demand and valued around the globe. General Motors must be a leader in this technology to help secure automobile production for the long-term future.
And with Oshawa's record as a place where quality and productivity as well as low-cost production is vaunted, there is no reason Durham can't be an automotive king for decades to come.