General Motors Co. confirms it will build the Buick Regal in Oshawa, ON, Canada, after importing the car for a year from Germany, and suggests another vehicle could be headed to the manufacturing complex soon.
GM calls the Regal midsize sports sedan the fourth new product being built for the auto maker in Canada, following the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain cross/utility vehicles, and the Chevrolet Camaro sports coupe and convertible. Production of the Camaro convertible starts at Oshawa at the same time as the Regal – first-quarter 2011.
The unnamed fifth vehicle cited by GM as headed to Canada could be the Regal hybrid, which Ward’s reported earlier this month as a variant scheduled for Oshawa in the second half of 2011.
However, GM also plans to soon update another Oshawa product – the Chevy Impala sedan. Once planned to shift to rear-wheel drive, the Impala will remain a front-wheel-drive product but get slightly bigger.
Outside of Oshawa, which saw its fullsize pickup line go dark earlier this year as GM closed truck plants to rebalance its future product portfolio to more cars and CUVs, the auto maker’s only other assembly plant in Canada is its CAMI Automotive Inc. joint venture.
CAMI, co-owned with Suzuki Motor Corp., already operates on three shifts to meet demand for the newly launched Equinox and Terrain, and GM executives told Ward’s earlier this month an $85 million investment at the plant to increase output by 40,000 units was meant exclusively for the two CUVs.
GM says the Regal and that fifth vehicle are part of the auto maker’s production commitment to the region after reaching an agreement earlier this year for financial support from the Canadian and Ontario governments.
GM will import the Opel Insignia-based Regal to the U.S. beginning in second-quarter 2010 from Russelsheim, Germany, for at least one year.