General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) has announced a tentative agreement with labor union Unifor to invest around $800 million in a makeover of the CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario for the manufacture of electric delivery vans.
GM to produce EV600 electric delivery Vans in Canada
Work on the factory that currently manufactures Chevrolet Equinox SUVs will commence immediately and could take two years. However, union workers are yet to ratify the deal for the commencement of large-scale manufacturing of the EV600, electric delivery vans.
The Detroit-based company is manufacturing the EV600 vans as part of its new venture BrightDrop that is manufacturing vehicles for delivery companies. With online shopping growing the demand for electric delivery vans for delivery companies have also increased as companies seek cleaner ways to deliver packages. FedEx will be BrightDrop’s first customer and the company will start receiving EV600 vans towards the end of this year.
The CAMI plant has produced three Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUV generations since 2004. The conversion of the plant to manufacture electric vans is a massive step for CAMI because it is assuring its manufacturing future in the company that will invest $27 billion to deliver EV cars to the market by 2025. The Canadian government has lauded the deal and indicated that it will confirm its support once Unifor members ratify the deal. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne said that they are waiting for the ratification vote results.
GM increasing its investment in Canada to expand operations
This latest deal builds upon recent GM investment in Canada. In November, GM agreed to invest CA$1 billion in the Oshawa factory to expand its capacity for full-size pickup trucks.
Unifor national president, Jerry Diaz said that this shows where the market is headed to and they are delighted to be part of it. The union which represents hourly workers in Canada said that additional details of the deal will be presented to union members at an online ratification meeting. The company is also optimistic that it will receive incentives approval from the government.