The Canadian assembly plants of General Motors are increasing production to meet increasing demand from the United States, where the "Cash for Clunkers" trade-in program has boosted buyers' interest, company officials said Tuesday.
GM Canada spokesman Stew Low said a combination of "increased demand for our vehicles based on their own merit" and "lift due to the U.S. Cash for Clunkers program" will result in the recall of 350 workers at the joint-venture CAMI plant, which the company operates with Japan's Suzuki in Ingersoll, Ontario.
Low said the third shift at CAMI will be restarted on Oct. 19 to satisfy strong demand for the Chevrolet Equinox and the GMC Terrain.
Meanwhile, the company said overtime for the Camaro at the Oshawa, Ontario, flex line will continue at least through the end of October. The plant has been running steady overtime each Saturday since June to keep up with the backlog of customer orders.
Low added that the increased production is good news for GM Canada's two parts plants in southern Ontario as well.
The Canadian plants have stopped most productions since last year, after the U.S. automobile giant filed for bankruptcy protection amid restructuring efforts.
Many automakers have noticed demand rise since the U.S. government launched its "Cash for Clunkers" program in July. That program gives Americans up to 4,500 U.S. dollars if they trade in an older, less fuel-efficient car for a new, more efficient one.
Besides GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota and Chrysler have all announced production increases as a result of the program's beneficial fallout.