One of America’s automotive icons has been being made outside the United States for a long time. For 2016, the all-new Chevy Camaro comes home.
In the automotive world, North America is often substituted for the United States of America. Automakers mix in sales numbers of cars produced in Canada and Mexico as if nobody is watching. Few are. Advertisements focus on the American-ness of trucks and cars that are not even built exclusively in The U.S.A. One of the best examples has been the Chevrolet Camaro. The Camaro is again a big deal at Chevy. During the last hugely-successful generation, GM took the engineers off the leash, and the ZL1 and Z/28 versions of the Camaro became world-class track cars. During all of this the Camaro was made close to Detroit but over the border in Canada. Starting with the new 2016 Camaro, the car will be built in the same plant that builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS, which share much of its rear-drive platform.
No two countries share so much of their culture, commerce, border, and past. Still, GM is a company proud of its heritage and being an American company is part and parcel to that.
The new Camaro will be built in Lansing, Michigan. On a map that is pretty darn close to Oshawa, Ontario, the prior home of GM’s pony-car assembly plant. It is only about a five-hour drive, except that when you drive through Sarnia leaving Ontario there is a border crossing that can add quite a bit of time to that.
The Detroit News reports that the UAW Local 652 is excited to have the jobs the new Camaro will bring. The downside is that the Oshawa plant might close after the Camaro moves. Unifor, the Canadian auto worker’s Union that represents the 3,300 workers at the Oshawa plant, and the government of Canada are not thrilled about that. Back when GM was bankrupt in 2009, both parties felt they contributed significantly to keeping GM afloat. That is true, and it will be interesting to see if some other production moves north to offset the loss of the Camaro.
Note: Second image shows a vehicle in production in Lansing. Obviously it is not a Camaro.