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GM plans to increase pickup truck production with up to $1 billion investment in Canada – CNBC

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General Motors plans to significantly increase production of its highly profitable pickup trucks by investing up to $1 billion in its Canadian operations.

The investment is part of a tentative deal with Canadian union Unifor, GM CEO Mary Barra told investors Thursday during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. The investment is pending union member ratification in the coming days.

“We can’t build enough,” Barra said regarding the trucks. “We will move very quickly. We expect construction to begin on the new body shop and flexible assembly module at Oshawa immediately upon ratification.”

GM expects a “significant increase” in its full-size pickup truck capacity when the plant comes online in January 2022, Barra said. She declined to disclose other details before the deal’s expected ratification.

The investment includes 1 billion to 1.3 billion Canadian dollars ($767 million to $997 million) in the Oshawa assembly plant in Ontario with the expected hiring of 1,400 to 1,700 hourly workers; CA$109 million in its St. Catharines powertrain plant; and CA$500,000 in operations in a parts distribution center.

Barra earlier in the morning told reporters that GM expects demand for its pickups and SUVs to continue to grow as U.S. vehicle sales continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We just keep seeing demand for trucks continue to grow. It’s a permanent,” she said during a media call. “As the market recovers, we’re going to see strong truck growth and strong truck demand and market share. That definitely fuels our business.”

Sales of such vehicles largely assisted GM in outperforming Wall Street’s earnings expectations in the third quarter, including a 15% North American operating profit margin – the highest of the Detroit automakers.

The profits from truck sales allow GM to invest in emerging, yet unprofitable, segments such as autonomous and all-electric vehicles. The company is in the process of investing $20 billion in the segments through 2025.

The Oshawa facility has been operating as a parts supplier to other GM plants following vehicle production ending in December 2019. The facility previously assembled passenger cars and assisted in partially producing previous generations of GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

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Ontario to release updated COVID-19 projections after locking down Toronto, Peel – CityNews Toronto

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Ontario health officials are expected to release new COVID-19 projections on Thursday.

It will be the first time they have released such data since sending the province’s two biggest virus hot spots — Toronto and Peel Region — into lockdown earlier this week.

Two weeks ago, the province unveiled modelling that showed Ontario could see as many as 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December unless steps are taken to limit the spread of the virus.

It said the province would reach 2,500 new daily cases by that time if the growth rate was at three per cent, or 6,500 if the growth rate was at five per cent.

At the time, Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, one of the experts behind the projections, said a five per cent growth rate was “slightly optimistic.”

Premier Doug Ford announced he would lower thresholds for imposing stricter COVID-19 measures under the province’s colour-coded restrictions system the following day.

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Ontario to release updated COVID-19 projections after locking down Toronto, Peel – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Thursday, November 26, 2020 6:03AM EST


Last Updated Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:05AM EST

TORONTO – Ontario health officials are expected to release new COVID-19 projections today.

It will be the first time they have released such data since sending the province’s two biggest virus hot spots — Toronto and Peel Region — into lockdown earlier this week.

Two weeks ago, the province unveiled modelling that showed Ontario could see as many as 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December unless steps are taken to limit the spread of the virus.

It said the province would reach 2,500 new daily cases by that time if the growth rate was at three per cent, or 6,500 if the growth rate was at five per cent.

At the time, Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, one of the experts behind the projections, said a five per cent growth rate was “slightly optimistic.”

Premier Doug Ford announced he would lower thresholds for imposing stricter COVID-19 measures under the province’s colour-coded restrictions system the following day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.

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Oil extends gains on surprise U.S. inventory draw amid vaccine rally – CNBC

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An aerial view of a crude oil storage facility is seen on May 5, 2020 in Cushing, Oklahoma.
JOHANNES EISELE | AFP via Getty Images

U.S. oil rose for a fifth day on Thursday as a surprise drop in crude inventories extended a rally driven by hopes that vaccines would end the coronavirus pandemic and revive fuel demand.

Brent was up by 20 cents, or 0.4%, at $48.81 a barrel, after rising around 1.6% in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate crude was up by 14 cents, or 0.3%, at $45.85, having gained 1.8% on Wednesday.

Both benchmarks have risen about 9% this week, getting a boost after AstraZeneca said on Monday its Covid-19 vaccine could be up to 90% effective, adding to the potential armory to end the worst pandemic in a century.

U.S. oil stockpiles fell 754,000 barrels last week, data showed, while analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a 127,000-barrel rise. Stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for WTI, fell 1.7 million barrels.

But gasoline demand for the week fell by 128,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 8.13 million bpd, the lowest since June.

“With new U.S. virus cases still at very high levels, we think that it probably won’t be until next year – once vaccines can have a material impact – that demand recovers to more normal levels,” Capital Economics said in a note.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has urged people to forgo big family gatherings, wear protective masks and maintain social distancing for the Thanksgiving holiday in the face of the surging coronavirus pandemic. But Americans are defying pleas from officials to stay home.

The United States has recorded 2.3 million new infections in the past two weeks.

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