Market update: PPG completes SEM purchase, GM Oshawa retraining

Who better than former assembly workers to service customers’ vehicles at GM dealerships, asks GM Canada? Photo courtesy GM Canada.

By CRM staff

Toronto – December 3, 2018 — This week in the market update, PPG adds to its product line with the purchase of SEM, and GM offers to retrain Oshawa assembly workers as auto service techs.

GM: retrain assembly workers as auto service techs
With the looming closure of its Oshawa Assembly plant, GM Canada and its local dealers have made a commitment to train and hire displaced workers as auto service technicians at GM dealerships.

GM Canada will also join with Durham Region educators and various governments to train Oshawa Assembly employees and transition them to new careers in Durham Region. The company says these efforts will help address the significant open requirements for talented workers from other regional employers.

“GM Canada will support Oshawa Assembly workers with the goal of helping impacted workers find good new jobs,” said GM Canada president and managing director, Travis Hester. “Our employees have great skills and our dealers have a significant need for auto technicians. Who better than our top-quality assembly workers to service customers’ vehicles at GM dealerships?”

GM Canada will dedicate resources and plans to work with Durham College, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the provincial and federal governments. The company will work closely with Unifor to support employees and manage the transition when changes begin at Oshawa Assembly in 2019.

“I am deeply appreciative of the quick support and leadership from Durham College president, Don Lovisa, our other local educational partners and our provincial and federal governments in offering support to GM employees,” said Hester.

The well-established GM Automotive Service Education Program (ASEP) established and supported by GM Canada’s dealers is available through colleges across Canada to initiate training for interested employees and place them in dealership jobs as they train.

PPG completes SEM acquisition
PPG announced Dec. 3 it has completed its acquisition of SEM Products, Inc., a U.S.-based manufacturer of specialized automotive refinish products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with a staff of approximately 80 employees, SEM is a manufacturer of repair and refinish products used primarily for automotive and other transportation applications. The company is known for various products, including Color Coat, a flexible coating and mixing system; Bumper Coater, to restore original equipment manufacturer (OEM) finishes on plastic bumpers and cladding; and Dual Mix, a two-part cartridge system for adhesives, fillers and sealers.

PPG is a global leader in transportation and industrial coatings.

But could we remove the tariffs, please?
The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA) issued a statement in support of the official signing of the new North American free trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico on Nov. 30, saying the tri-lateral agreement “provides a workable framework to support the highly integrated North American automotive industry.”

“However,” the organization adds, “we urge the government to continue its efforts to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs as quickly as possible, which are undermining the spirit of the agreement, in order to achieve the full potential of this modern new agreement.”

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association represents manufacturers of light and heavy duty motor vehicles including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada, and General Motors of Canada Company.

According to CVMA, direct and indirect jobs associated with vehicle manufacturing are estimated at over 792,000 across Canada.


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