CAMI Automotive is wholly owned by General Motors Canada. The plant occupies 570 acres (230 ha) and has 1,700,000 square feet (157,900 m2) of floor space of which 400,000 square feet (37,161 m2) was added in 2016 as part of a $560 million investment.
CAMI uses the CAMI Production System (CPS), a set of operating philosophies that guide team members in manufacturing vehicles. The basis of the system is working in teams performing standardized work.
- 1 Recent developments
- 2 Awards and highlights
- 3 Current product
- 4 Former products
- 5 Historical timeline
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Prior to December 2009, ownership of CAMI was split 50-50% between Suzuki and General Motors of Canada Ltd., the former withdrew from the venture after it stopped production of its XL7 models at CAMI in June 2009 due to poor sales.
CAMI was an independently incorporated joint venture of automobile manufacturing in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada and formed the third step of GM’s three-pronged initiative of the mid-1980s to capture and practice the Japanese mystique of automotive management. The other two were United Australian Automobile Industries between Toyota and Holden in Australia, and NUMMI in California with Toyota and GM, the latter a wholly owned alternative to apply its learnings into practice. CAMI was the least successful of the trio for decades, but is now the sole survivor.
In Nov 2009, GM announced to invest US$85 million investment at the plant, raising production by 40,000 vehicles to 240,000 by adding a third shift, resulting in the recall of about 150 laid-off autoworkers in preparation of the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
From 2013 the plant has produced vehicles based on GM’s Theta platform for crossover SUVs; production of the second generation Chevrolet Equinox for fleet sales continued even as production of the third generation model started on 8 January 2017. In 2013 GM announced a US$200 million (C$250 million) investment for a new body shop and flexible manufacturing equipment and tooling to support future production.
In early 2015, GM announced to invest US$450 million (C$560 million) in the plant in preparation for production of the next generation Chevrolet Equinox. The amount included C$190 million at the plant and C$370 million in vendor tooling with suppliers.
In January 2017, GM announced it would cut 625 workers as a result of shifting production of the second generation GMC Terrain to Mexico and phasing out the second generation Chevrolet Equinox earlier than planned. CAMI Automotive has 2,800 hourly and 300 salaried employees in early 2017 before the layoff. CAMI also supplied unfinished bodies of Chevrolet Equinox to GM’s Oshawa Car Assembly for painting and final assembly. The arrangement ended after the production of the second generation Chevrolet Equinox ceased in 2017. In response to the Terrain’s shifting and due to the production of the Equinox in two plants in Mexico, workers went on a strike demanding CAMI become the main assembly point of the Equinox. The strike ended in October 16, 2017.
Awards and highlights
- In the 2005 Harbour Report, CAMI was ranked No. 3 in truck assembly in the Small SUV category of the 45 auto assembly plants in North America.
- Recognized as the most efficient plant in North America four years in a row (2012,2013,2014, and 2015)
- J.D. Power Silver Plant Award for the Americas – June 2014
- Landfill Free status achieved in January 2014
- Clean50 – ‘Leaders in Sustainability’ Top 15 Project winner – September 2015
- Best GMNA Plant in Wiring Warranty Performance – February 2014
The plant currently produces the Chevrolet Equinox
The GMC Terrain was produced until the middle of 2017 when production of the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain was transferred to San Luis Potosi Assembly.
- 1986 – CAMI Automotive established
- 1989 – Production of J1 (Suzuki Sidekick and Geo Tracker), M2 (Geo Metro) begins
- 1993 – Total CAMI production reaches 500,000.
- 1994 – Production of M3 (Geo Metro and Pontiac Firefly) begins.
- 1996 – Total CAMI production reaches 1.5 million vehicles.
- 1998 – Production of J2 (Suzuki Vitara and Geo Tracker) begins and CAMI receives ISO 9002 registration for its Quality Management System.
- 2000 – CAMI receives ISO 14001 registration for its Environmental Management System.
- 2003 – Total CAMI production reaches 11.5 million vehicles.
- 2004 – Production of Chevrolet Equinox begins.
- 2005 – Production of Pontiac Torrent begins.
- 2006 – Production of Suzuki XL7 begins.
- 2009 – Production of Suzuki XL7 put on indefinite hold.
- 2009 – Production of GMC Terrain begins.
- 2009 – Suzuki withdraws from venture; gives General Motors full control.
- 2016 – Plant expansion
- 2017 – Production start of third generation Equinox; production of sister second generation Terrain moved to Mexico; in response of the Terrain’s moving to Mexico, workers go on a strike demanding CAMI to become the main assembly point of the Equinox in order to prevent more shiftings to Mexico.
- United Australian Automobile Industries (UAAI) — A similar joint venture in Australia between Toyota and GM-Holden from 1989 to 1996.
- NUMMI — A similar joint venture in United States between Toyota and General Motors from 1984 to 2009; now a 100% Tesla Motors owned and operated plant.
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