New EV delivery van will be first Canadian mass-produced commercial EV
Ingersoll’s CAMI plant now home to Equinox crossover
General Motors and Unifor Local 88 have just announced the ratification of a deal that will bring $1 billion in investment and new electric delivery vans to GM’s Ingersoll, Ontario factory. Production of the all-new BrightDrop models is expected to start in November.
The tentative agreement was announced over the weekend, with voting on the deal by Unifor members taking place yesterday. The results are in and Unifor says 91 percent of members voted in favour of accepting the agreement.
Unifor Local 88 represents 1,900 workers at the CAMI Assembly plant, and work there will start immediately on readying it to be the first mass producer of EV commercial vehicles in the country. The vehicles will be part of GM’s new BrightDrop venture, aimed at the commercial electric segments and offering a top to bottom delivery and logistics solution.
“To achieve this level of commitment for auto manufacturing shows what can happen when we have a collective vision to secure this sector and create good jobs for Canadians,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. This agreement is separate from that reached last year by GM Unifor workers in Oshawa, St. Catharines and GM’s other Canadian plants.
The three-year agreement will see the production of the BrightDrop EV600 start while production of the Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover will continue until 2023. This marks more than $2 billion in investment for GM in Canada in the last year, including reopening Oshawa assembly to build full-size pickup trucks. Oshawa has now produced more than 10 million face masks for the Canadian Government, provided at cost.
The CAMI plant was established in 1986 as a joint venture between Suzuki and GM. It built the Suzuki Sidekick and Geo Tracker as well as the Geo Metro at its inception. In the mid-2000s it started production of the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent as well as the Suzuki XL7. Suzuki withdrew from the venture when it left the Canadian market in 2009.