This article was originally posted on GM Canada’s website on February 20, 2023 and can be found here.
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – General Motors today informed its St. Catharines, Ontario workforce that, subject to completing support agreements with federal and Ontario government partners, the company plans to invest at the plant to manufacture new Ultium electric drive units for GM’s fast growing electric vehicle lineup. This investment plan would be expected to support around 500 jobs at the St. Catharines facility and enable the production of more than 400,000 EV drive units a year.
“This is a time of historic transformation for our industry and with this significant investment, St. Catharines will play a critical role in our EV future,” said Marissa West, president and managing director of GM Canada. “The St. Catharines team produces engines and transmissions for many of GM’s most popular vehicles, including full size trucks, SUVs and Corvette and we are very excited to announce our plans to supply critical drive units as well. This will support GM’s plans to build 1 million electric vehicles a year in North America by 2025.”
“The skill and dedication of Unifor members makes Canada the clear choice to build electric vehicle propulsion systems,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “This historic investment secures GM St. Catharines’ place in an EV future and protects hundreds of good paying jobs.”
The drive units built at St. Catharines will be used in vehicles built on GM’s flexible EV architecture, called Ultium. 2023 will be a breakout year for Ultium vehicles with the electric Cadillac LYRIQ the affordable Chevrolet Equinox EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV, and GMC HUMMER SUV EV all entering the North American market.
The new St. Catharines investment builds upon other recent GM Canada investments including a C$28 million Renewable Energy Cogeneration project at St. Catharines; Canada’s first large-scale EV plant in Ingersoll Ontario, now making the BrightDrop Zevo 600; a new Ultium CAM Cathode Active Materials facility now under construction in Bécancour, Quebec; expansion of GM’s Canadian Technology Centre in Oshawa and Markham, Ontario, including a new 55-acre CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track and the recent reopening and return to three shifts of pickup production at Oshawa Assembly.
GM Canada is engaged with the Ontario and federal governments and expects to complete discussions later this year.
GM CANADA INVESTMENT FAST FACTS
GM has engineering, manufacturing, sales and office staffs across Canada, and its work supports thousands of additional jobs in the Canadian supplier base. Since 2020, GM has made significant investments in Canadian manufacturing, research and development, and EV supply chain.
Other recent announcements include:
- August, 2020: St. Catharines Propulsion Plant opens Canada’s first cogeneration plant using renewable landfill gas to generate electricity and heat for the facility, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent.
- November 2020: GM announced plans to invest in Oshawa Assembly for full-size truck production, St. Catharines Propulsion Plant to support production of Corvette transmissions, and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre to support Customer Care and Aftersales.
- January 2021: GM announced plans to invest in CAMI to support BrightDrop production.
- February 2021: GM announced the opening of its new Canadian Technical Centre McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track (CTC MATT) in Oshawa to support engineering development and testing of advanced software and technologies. Including the MATT, GM’s CTC today employs more than 1,300 engineers and software developers across four locations in Ontario.
- October 2021: GM announced the Dealer Community Charging Program, providing up to 10 chargers for dealers to install in their communities across Canada and the U.S., as part of GM’s $750 million investment in EV infrastructure.
- March 2022: GM and POSCO Chemical announced a C$500 million facility in Bécancour, Québec to produce cathode active material for GM’s Ultium batteries.
- April 2022: GM, with representatives from the Governments of Canada and Ontario, confirmed that the restart of Oshawa operations would create 2,600 new jobs and that CAMI Assembly would begin BrightDrop Zevo production by the end of year.
- August 2022: GM announced it would triple the Super Cruise road network in Canada, giving customers greater accessibility to hands-free driving. Portions of the software development and testing for the launch and expansion of Super Cruise was done by engineers at the CTC.
- November 2022: GM announced a long-term supply agreement with Vale Canada, for battery grade nickel sulfate from Vale’s proposed plant also at Bécancour, Québec. The amount of contained nickel will be sufficient to supply approximately 350,000 EVs annually.
- December 2022: GM, with representatives from the Governments of Canada and Ontario, celebrated the launch of BrightDrop production at CAMI Assembly, making the London, Ontario facility Canada’s first full-scale EV plant.
ST. CATHARINES PROPULSION PLANT FAST FACTS
- Opened: 1952
- Size: 2 million square-foot building, on 140-acre property
- Employment: Approximately 1,100 people, including Salary and Hourly, as of January 2023
- Union: Unifor Local 199
- 5.3L and 6.2L V8 Engines (full-size trucks and SUVs, Chevrolet Camaro)
- 3.6L V6 Engines (midsize SUVs, Cadillac CT4-V)
- Six-speed transmission (Chevrolet Equinox)
- 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (Chevrolet Corvette)
- Certified Landfill-free since 2008, with 98% of all waste materials diverted from landfills
- Energy cogeneration plant cut greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 70 per cent
- Community involvement:
- $267,000 donated to community organizations in 2022
- Recognized for contributing $31 million to the United Way Niagara since 1954, accounting for one-third of all donations to the organization