Strike at GM's Ontario plant threatens Chevy Equinox sales

Jerry Dias president of Canada's Unifor Union talks to the media during the second round of NAFTA talks involving the United States Mexico and Canada in Mexico City Mexico

In a statement to Cars.com, GM Canada said it's "made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks" with Unifor, but it's "disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement".

The Equinox is the second-best-selling vehicle at GM behind the Chevy Silverado large pickup and 10th-best-selling vehicle in the US, auto or truck.

Dias has pushed for higher working standards in the US and Mexico during current negotiations over changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Bloomberg said.

Members of the Unifor union are seeking an agreement from GM.

Job security is a key issue in the talks after GM shifted production of the GMC Terrain crossover - twin of the Equinox - to Mexico earlier this summer.

"They took it down to Mexico strictly because the Mexican workers are making $3 an hour U.S. We can't compete with that". The auto maker had originally axed 625 jobs, but GM said Monday that number was reduced after retirements and buyouts. "As long as they can build in Mexico for $2 an hour or less, they'll do that". Dias has been sharply critical of the agreement, saying Canadian autoworkers would be better off with NAFTA being scrapped than it would be if a new deal failed to include higher labor standards in Mexico.

The company spent 800 million Canadian dollars (about $660 million) on new facilities and tooling at Ingersoll for the current version of the Equinox.

"We understand the uncertainty with this market", he said.

The Ingersoll factory was excluded from the labor agreements that Unifor struck with USA auto companies previous year that secured more investment in Canada.

GM has fewer Equinox crossovers in stock in the US than it did about a month ago.

But Krebs noted that while concerns about moving production to Mexico have been an issue, Cami is likely to face competition for new products from plants in MI and OH that make passenger cars but could be retooled to make SUVs, such as the Equinox. GM dealers had about 53 days' worth of Equinox crossovers in stock as of September 1, down from 74 days a month earlier, according to data from Automotive News.

GM spokesperson Jennifer Wright offered reassurance, however, that the company is not anticipating slowdowns at any of its other Canadian plants. GM committed to $554 million in investments at those plants over the duration of that contract.

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