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GM Looks Northward For Aid

General Motors is asking the Ontario provincial government and Canadian federal government for aid money. In exchange, the automaker plans to build the Buick Regal at the automaker's Oshawa plant.

The province of Ontario and the Canadian federal government are joint recipients of a General Motors move to secure financing for the beleaguered automaker. Canada's National Post is reporting that GM is looking for CDN$2.4 billion in emergency aid in exchange for bringing an all-new Buick Regal to its Oshawa, Ontario car plant.

General Motors is currently building the new Chevrolet Camaro at the Oshawa plant and plans to build at least three fresh models there if government aid is forthcoming. GM had said previously that the Buick Regal would be built at Oshawa, but that was before it announced that it was running out of cash. The automaker is currently seeking billions in loan money from the US government and has discussed receiving incentives from other governments around the world.

As part of a comprehensive loan package from the US government, General Motors has agreed to restructure its operations. Several brands are believed to be vulnerable including Hummer, Saab and Saturn with Pontiac turned into a specialty brand that will build one or two models. That leaves Buick to take up the slack and with the new LaCrosse slated to debut next summer, the brand could look quite different within the next five years.

Presently, Buick builds the Enclave crossover; its full size car, the Lucerne; and the LaCrosse. Though GM hasn't readied a replacement for the Lucerne, a scaled back Pontiac could pave the way for a car based on the rear wheel drive Pontiac G8 to be sold by Buick. Add in the slightly smaller than the LaCrosse Buick Regal and the Buick brand would have four lines of vehicles to sell in North America. Likely, GM would add a fifth vehicle, perhaps a roadster, to round out the Buick line up.

Canada's premier, Steven Harper, has expressed willingness to extend aid to General Motors as well as to Ford and Chrysler, part of a six billion dollar aid package being considered north of the border. However, Harper has said that the government will do “what is in the best long-run interest of the Canadian economy” when it makes its decision about aid to the Big Three.

Canada has been building cars for the North American market for over eighty years, a relationship with the United States that has benefited both countries as well as the respective automakers represented there.

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Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in Cary, North Carolina. Matt is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport an aftermarket supplier of quality parts including Acura Vigor body kits and Acura Vigor carbon fiber hoods.

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