GM plant shutdown presents investment opportunity

General Motors’ announcement that it’s slashing as many as 2,500 jobs in Oshawa will likely have a temporal chilling effect on the local market, and that presents an opportunity for seasoned investors.

“I know of two deals that were conditional where people pulled out as a result of this, and I believe that for the next three to six months there’s going to be a lot of investors sitting on sidelines waiting to see what’s going to happen in marketplace,” said Michael Dominguez, a sales representative with REMAX Jazz in Oshawa, and owner of company name is Doors to Wealth Group.

“My advice is to take advantage of this opportunity because many novice investors will sit and watch what happens.”

News of the job cuts broke Sunday evening, and as of Monday, Dominguez had already fielded a number of phone calls from worried investor clients, whom he reassured.

“The sly is not falling, doom is not setting in,” he said. “Stay calm is the message I’m delivering.”

During its peak, GM employed over 20,000 people in the Oshawa area and today there aren’t even 3,000. Moreover, Oshawa has changed drastically since the plant’s heyday.

“There have been changes over the last 10 to 15 years where plants have shut down and where we’ve seen drops of 2,000-3,000 employees in one shot,” said Dominguez. “The reality is that the Oshawa market has changed so much over the past generation or so that the automotive sector doesn’t represent one of the top three industries in our area. We’re fortunate we’ve been able to diversify.”

Most of the impending layoffs are close to retirement, as well, which should not have a spiralling effect on the city about 60 kilometres east of Toronto.

As likely as the layoffs are to occur, the union that represents the auto workers has come out swinging, making it clear that it doesn’t intend to go down without a fight.

"Unifor does not accept the closure of the plant as a foregone conclusion,"Unifor’s President Jerry Dias said in a statement. "Oshawa has been in this situation before with no product on the horizon and we were able to successfully make the case for continued operations. We will vigorously fight again to maintain these good-paying auto jobs."


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