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General Motors to invest $68 million in Oshawa plant


General Motors will invest $68 million at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., to build the new version of its Chevy Impala sedan — a move that will save 350 jobs as the automaker streamlines its Canadian operations.

The new vehicle will be manufactured in a so-called flex assembly line in Oshawa, just east of Toronto, where the automaker has shifted more of its car production in recent years.

The plant, which runs traditional and flexible assembly lines, employs more than 4,400 people and has undergone many changes this past year, recently launching the Buick Regal, Chevrolet Camaro Convertible and Chevrolet Equinox.

“We are building on the recent capacity increases, product launches and shift additions at our Canadian operations to affirm that Canada will play an important role in the new GM as we continue to transform our product lineup,” said Kevin Williams, president and managing director of General Motors of Canada.

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The announcement follows a decision by GM earlier this year to build the new Cadillac XTS at the Oshawa plant. That decision created or saved 400 jobs on the flexible assembly line.

GM is scaling back its overall operations in Canada as part of a North American restructuring that began two years ago under bankruptcy court protection. That streamlining led to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs at the company’s Canadian and U.S. operations, and the shutdown of several plants.

In Canada, GM has already closed a truck plant in Oshawa and a transmission factory in Windsor, Ont. It also plans to shut down the older part of the Oshawa car plant, which currently employs 2,400 people, in the first quarter of 2013.

The new Impala would be produced at the flex plant, which employs 2,000 people and currently makes the Chevy Camaro, Buick Regal and soon, the Cadillac XTS.

The Impala will also be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Michigan.