Due to various facility outages, General Motors faced a significant production capacity shortage for its profitable Silverado/Sierra models that could not be solved within its existing Silverado/Sierra production facilities. To overcome this shortfall they decided, for the second time in their history, to temporarily convert an existing facility to “shuttle” production of these vehicles. With this challenge came many hurdles, such as a compressed planning timeframe to begin vehicle production within 12 months of project conception, a restricted labor market executing during an economic boom in Ontario and working within a nearly century old aging facility.
To meet these challenges effectively, General Motors turned to the only partner who had previously accomplished this – Sylvan.
Having extensive experience in renovating and repurposing assembly facilities, as well as working with General Motors on past projects, Sylvan was able to hit the ground running, eliminating the learning curve other firms would have needed.
Compressed Planning Timeframe
General Motors was able to rely on Sylvan’s deep experience in renovating the Imapla line in Oshawa to “shuttle” Equinox production in 2010, along with renovating the automotive assembly facilities, to move quickly toward project execution. Overall, the Sylvan team was able to begin vehicle production within just 12 months from project conception.
Restricted Labor Market
The Sylvan team leveraged deep subcontractor relationships to quickly execute subcontracts along with mobilizing and managing over 350 tradespeople representing 10 union trades. Sylvan also leveraged an additional 350 subcontractors.
Sylvan’s decades of experience within the facility led to critical insight that guided innovation redesign solutions. This solution allowed the project to maintain on schedule through significant challenges.
Even though the turnaround from bid award to running full production was only 6 months, Sylvan executed flawlessly and ensured all project milestones were met. Proactively working with all trades, subcontractors and unions, Sylvan orchestrated the demolition of obsolete tooling and equipment, installed and relocated complex conveyors and robots, completed alterations to the existing facility and executed key projects in the body shop, paint area and trim assembly.
Overcoming significant challenges posed by the nature of this aging facility and tight labor market, Sylvan implemented the entire program on time and within budget, enabling General Motors to fully meet its business objectives transforming the consolidated Chevrolet Equinox line to a state-of-the-art assembly line.