GM, Suzuki dissolve Canada joint venture

Fri Dec 4, 2009 3:49pm EST
 

TORONTO (Reuters) - General Motors GM.UL and Suzuki Motor Corp 7269.T have agreed to dissolve their vehicle manufacturing joint venture in Canada, with GM buying Suzuki's stake in the operation, the companies said on Friday.

A GM Canada spokeswoman said Suzuki would sign over its 50 percent stake in CAMI Automotive, based in Ingersoll, Ontario, and the transaction would be completed "in the near future."

GM would not say how much the deal was worth, but Japan's Nikkei business daily said Suzuki's stake in CAMI was worth 4.1 billion yen ($46.5 million) in book value.

Suzuki said the deal was in response to a request from GM, which is in the midst of major restructuring.

"GM Canada recognizes that the culture and values of the CAMI workforce have played a key role in producing world-class vehicles," Arturo Elias, president of GM Canada, said in a statement.

"Bringing CAMI completely into the GM family is a strong vote of confidence in the people there and builds on the recent positive news at the plant."

Last month, GM announced it would spend C$90 million ($85 million) to boost production at the CAMI plant, where it builds two popular crossover utility vehicles.

The automaker said it would immediately begin to retool the 20-year-old plant -- about half way between Toronto and Detroit -- to increase production of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain by 40,000 units.

The plant currently produces 185,000 vehicles a year and has about 2,000 employees.   Continued...

 
<p>An employee is reflected in a Suzuki Motor's car at a Suzuki Motor showroom in Tokyo June 2, 2009. REUTERS/Toru Hanai</p>