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http://www.newsdurhamregion.com/news/business/industry/article/92469
US fuel rules a concern for GM sales
Fri Jan 18, 2008


OSHAWA -- Ambitious new American fuel-consumption regulations could mean trouble for General Motors Canada.
The US government will soon require vehicles to average 35 miles per gallon (56 kilometres per gallon).

Still looking for another car to be produced in the Oshawa car plant in addition to the upcoming Camaro, GM has been doing some extensive research to determine what kind of vehicle could bring more sales for the company and more work for the Oshawa plant.

With 90 per cent of sales coming from the US market, GM is paying very close attention to the US debate on fuel economy and its Corporate Average Fuel Requirements (CAFE) because those factors may determine the need for rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

"We're still in a good position," said Chris Buckley, president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 222.

Currently, the Oshawa car plant is working on creating a flexible manufacturing plant, which will be able to build several different cars on the same assembly line. While the plant is under construction to accommodate the new Camaro, workers continue to build the Buick Allure and the Chevrolet Impala.

"We'll be building Impalas for as long as there is a market for them," said Mr. Buckley.

As a result of the US fuel rules, Mr. Buckley did however confirm the Impala will only have a front-wheel-drive option.

"As we continue to lose market share, it puts us in an awkward position," said Mr. Buckley.

While layoffs have been the main topic around the Oshawa plants, building the flexible plant brings hope to worried workers.

"We've put ourselves in a good position, but there's only so much we can do," said Mr. Buckley.

He remains hopeful about the plants' future in Oshawa, but blames unfair trade and the rising Canadian dollar as issues that the government needs to address immediately to help the hurting manufacturing industry.

"It's not just a problem, it's a crisis," said Mr. Buckley.

Right now, the company's focus has shifted from emissions and fuel efficiency to fuel economy and front-wheel-drive vehicles, but like Mr. Buckley said, "the world keeps changing," so GM employees have no choice but to sit back and wait for the company to announce more work for Oshawa.
 

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+1 Quite true Lu.

GM could easily run an entire generation on a RWD platform. Just CAFE cracking the whip and the automakers losing focus.
 

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the problem is this..development for these programs are starting now..for that year..sounds far off but parts of GM are gearing up for that future..and they have to change it now so that something like the demise of the 4th gen happen again
 
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