VIDEO: Behind-the-scenes look at pickup truck production at the Oshawa Assembly plant

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Published February 6, 2024 at 8:30 am

A behind-the-scenes look at production at the General Motors Assembly plant in Oshawa is an “oddly satisfying” peek at the making of a truck from start to finish.

Who would have thought?

The nearly two-and-a-half-minute video – the GM Canada hashtag #oddly satisfying is sprinkled throughout – is a highlight package of some of the 30,000 individual steps that go into the production of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck from on-site parts finishing to the final testing of the vehicle before shipping.

The video shows the size and complexity of the nine million square foot plant, as well as the intricacy of the process of putting together 3,000 pieces into a completed truck. Some of the 1,200 robots in the body shop are shown handling tasks such as stamping and welding or shifting partly assembled cabs too heavy for human hands from place to place.

Robots and humans working together is also showcased, with worker putting the doors on a Chevy Silverado cab followed by the powder-coating process used to paint the vehicles. The chassis are assembled upside down to provide easy access to the undercarriage when the cab and bed are welded together.

“Imagine the coordination it takes to ensure every piece is installed perfectly every time,” narrator Ann Power noted. “The precision is … chef’s kiss.”

Oshawa Assembly was at one time the largest automobile production facility in North America and still plays a critical role in helping GM Canada lead the industry in total vehicle sales last year.

The plant was shut down in 2019 but reborn two years later and delivered one of the fastest plant launches in General Motors history to reopen before 2021 was out.

A new investment of $280 million announced last year will prepare the facility for producing the next generation of heavy-duty trucks, including an assembly line for heavy duty pickup engines. Outgoing GM Canada Marissa West said at the time the Oshawa plant “will continue to build pickups with Oshawa pride for years to come.”

The video ends with final assembly and a rain test in which the trucks are sprayed down with large amounts of water to check seals. Overall, the clip gives a glimpse of the large-scale industrial processes used at Oshawa, which was given a $1.2 billion retooling in 2020 and 2021. The site employs approximately 2,600 workers; each of whom make considerably more per hour than the 1,200 robots.

Oddly that too is “satisfying.”

You can watch the video here:

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