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GM Canada makes $850 million investment in R&D at Oshawa facility

GM Canada makes $850 million investment in R&D at Oshawa facility

OSHAWA, Ont. - GM Canada says it will invest $850 million in Canadian research and development at its complex in Oshawa, Ont., to meet the conditions of the 2009 bailout.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who attended the announcement, says the money represents "exciting future implications" with ripple effects that will be felt "far and wide."

The federal and Ontario governments invested a total of $10.5 billion in GM Canada in 2009 as the automaker struggled to survive the economic downturn.

Today's announcement is aimed at meeting R&D spending commitments GM made under the bailout.

Harper, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty are among the politicians attending the event.

The Oshawa plant builds many GM models — from the Impala and Camaro to the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Regal — and employs more than 4,500 people.

Last August, the company announced a $117 million investment at the assembly plant to prepare it to build the new Cadillac XTS.

The Oshawa assembly plant has had major changes in the last two years, with new vehicle models and expanded production that has added two new shifts and 1,300 jobs.

In Canada, the company shut down a truck plant in Oshawa and a transmission plant in Windsor, Ont., and cut its workforce.

Since the restructuring, GM has eliminated all but four of its brands and has transformed itself into a much leaner, more profitable company.

GM Canada employs about 10,000 people at its Ontario-based operations. The company operates assembly plants in Oshawa and Ingersoll and parts plants in St. Catharines.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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