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Sunday, December 04, 2005

GM Kills One of the Few Good Things Going for It

In May of this year, General Motors' Oshawa #2 Plant in Oshawa, Ontario was awarded J.D. Power's Gold Plant Quality Award for the top-ranked car plant in the Americas in initial quality. GM's Oshawa #1 Plant was awarded the Silver Plant Quality Award for the second-ranked plant in initial quality.

Six months later, GM announced the impending closure of nine plants in North America, including Oshawa #2. GM also announced that it would cut a shift at Oshawa #1.

Not only are the Oshawa plants at the top of the quality rankings, they are some of the most efficient assembly plants in North America. The Globe and Mail reports that the Oshawa #1 and #2 plants rank first and fourth, respectively, in productivity among North American car assembly plants "according to the Harbour Report, which tracks efficiency."

I've experienced the quality of GM's Oshawa-built cars firsthand. My car, a 2001 Buick Century, was built in Oshawa, as was its predecessor, a 1992 Chevrolet Lumina. I have 104,000 miles on my Century and haven't had a major problem with it. My Lumina had over 170,000 miles on it when I finally replaced it. I've been extremely impressed by the quality and reliability of the Lumina and the Century. I feel bad for the GM employees in Oshawa whose jobs will be eliminated. They make a heck of a product.

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