Camaro saves Oshawa Assembly No. 2 plant

While General Motors may see the soon-to-be relaunched Camaro as its saviour to resurrect sagging auto sales, the Oshawa assembly complex knows it’s a godsend already.

GM announced Monday that the Camaro, re-entering the auto world after a hiatus of five years, will be built at its  Oshawa No. 2 plant.  The plant was slated for closure in 2008.  But when the new redesigned Camaro will come off the assembly line for the first time that year, it means that 2,500 jobs will have been saved.

GM is committing $740 million to the plant where the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick LaCrosse and Allure models were made. Those models end production in two years.

GM told the world in January that it intended to  bring back the Camaro after rival Ford said its Shelby GT was going back into production. DaimlerChrysler has since indicated the Dodge Challenger would jump into the muscle car fray.

GM says the new Camaro will be a much more fuel efficient model than the ’60s version. Annual sales of about 100,000 are targetted to help stem a pattern of lost market share. Japaneses auto makers, such as Toyota and Honda, have increasingly become attractive to North American buyers.

GM lost $8.6 billion US in 2005.