GM to spend C$250 million on Canada's CAMI assembly plant

Fri Mar 8, 2013 3:25pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) is spending C$250 million ($243.46 million) to retrofit its CAMI Automotive Inc assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, for future vehicle production, the company said on Friday.

The facility currently produces the popular crossover utility models Chevrolet Equinox and the GMC Terrain.

CAMI is currently running at full capacity and has had difficulty meeting demand, and has been shipping some vehicles to GM's Oshawa, Ontario facilities to finish assembly.

"It really does signify the fact that they are confident that the current strength that we're seeing, especially in the United States, will continue for some time," said Carlos Gomes, an auto analyst at Scotiabank, noting that production at the plant increased by 5 percent in January versus a year ago.

This is part of the $1.5 billion GM said it will invest in its North American plants this year and part of the $8 billion the Detroit automaker has said it will annually put into its worldwide operations.

The crossover utilities are now the largest segment in the U.S. market, outselling traditional medium sized cars. In Canada, the category is close to overtaking the small car segment as well, said Gomes.

"This investment will prepare the plant for future vehicle production and will give CAMI the ability to build a higher variety of differentiated products, on multiple platforms," GM spokeswoman Adria MacKenzie said in an email.

She did not say what kind of models the conversion will be able to accommodate.   Continued...

The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky/Files