Suzuki, General Motors to end Canada partnership

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 2:59 AM

General Motors Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. have agreed to end their automaking joint venture in Canada, leaving GM without a Japanese production partner after also severing manufacturing links with Toyota.

Suzuki said Friday will sell its 50 percent stake in CAMI Automotive Inc. to GM for an undisclosed price, giving the U.S. automaker full control of the company.

GM ended its California joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp., the world's No. 1 automaker, earlier this year.

CAMI, based in Ingersoll, Ontario, was established in 1986 and launched production in 1989. It has capacity to make 250,000 vehicles a year.

The factory has so far produced more than 2.3 million vehicles, including small cars such as the Chevy Metro, Suzuki Swift and Pontiac Firefly. It began making midsize sport-utility vehicles in 2004.

GM has high hopes for the plant as it works to return to profitability under government-led rehabilitation. It is expanding production at the plant amid brisk sales of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, two crossover models that posted 17 percent higher sales in November.

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"Bringing CAMI completely into the GM family is a strong vote of confidence in the people there and builds on the recent positive news at the plant since the highly successful launch of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain," GM Canada President Arturo Elias said in a statement.