A timeline of auto sector layoffs

The number of Canadian auto industry jobs is in decline as the industry struggles with high gas prices, an uncertain U.S. economy and unstable stock markets. Ontario has been especially hard hit by years of industry cutbacks and layoffs.
Workers put the windshield into a Camaro at the General Motors plant in Ste. Therese, Que. The plant shut down in 2002. ((Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press))
About eight million people in factories around the world churned out 73 million vehicles in 2007. Millions more people have jobs linked to auto manufacturing — supplying parts, materials and services.

Canada produced 2.6 million of those vehicles. The country's auto industry directly employs about 135,000 people, according to the Canadian Auto Workers union. Hundreds of thousands more people across the country have auto sector spinoff jobs.

But that number is in decline as the industry struggles with high gas prices, an uncertain U.S. economy and unstable stock markets. Ontario, the centre of Canada's auto industry, has been especially hard hit by years of industry cutbacks and layoffs.


April 19: General Motors posts $1.1-billion US loss in its first quarter. Full story.

Countries with the largest auto-making industries:

  1. Japan
  3. U.S.
  5. China
  7. Germany
  9. South Korea
  11. France
  13. Brazil
  15. Spain
  17. Canada

June 7: General Motors announces plans to cut at least 25,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2008. Company CEO Richard Wagoner doesn't say whether Canadian jobs will be cut. Full story.

Oct. 8: Auto parts maker and General Motors' spinoff company Delphi files for bankruptcy. Full story.

Nov. 21: General Motors announces the closure of 12 manufacturing plants, resulting in the loss of 30,000 jobs across North America, including 3,900 jobs in Ontario. Full story.


Jan. 23: Ford announces cuts of 30,000 North American jobs as part of massive restructuring plan. About 1,700 Canadians jobs are affected. Full story.

Jan. 24: DaimlerChrysler announces plans to cut 6,000 administrative jobs in a bid to trim costs by $1.2 billion US a year. Most cuts were in Germany. Full story.

Feb. 10: Volkswagen AG announces a restructuring plan that could cut up to 20,000 jobs in its passenger car division in the next three years. None of the cuts will take place in Canada. Full story.


Jan. 25: Ford announces record annual loss of $12.7 billion US. Full story.

Feb. 14: Chrysler announces 13,000 North American jobs will be cut — including 2,000 in Canada — over the next three years. Full story.

Aug. 30: General Motors announces cuts of 1,200 production jobs at Oshawa truck plant. Full story.

Nov. 1: Chrysler announces it will cut as many as 12,000 North American jobs, including 1,100 at its Dodge Magnum assembly plant in Brampton, Ont. Full story.


Feb. 27. BMW announces plans to cut 5,600 jobs by the end of 2008. Most of the job cuts are in Germany.

Within the European Union, an estimated 2.3 million people are directly employed by the auto industry.

April 28: General Motors to cut 3,500 jobs by scaling back shifts at four North American assembly plants. As many as 970 people in Oshawa, Ont., are affected. Full story.

May 12: General Motors says it will close a Windsor, Ont., transmission plant by 2010. As many as 1,400 people to lose their jobs. Full story.

June 3: General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa announces as many as 2,600 people could be laid off when a pickup truck plant closes in 2009. Full story.

June: Volvo cuts 2,000 jobs worldwide.

June 18: Magna auto parts plant in St. Thomas, Ont., cuts 400 jobs. The company makes frames for GM trucks. Full story.

June 19: Formet automotive parts plant in St. Thomas, Ont., announces 400 people to be laid off.

June 27: Mitsubishi announces plans to cut 105 workers and 10 per cent of its output in the U.S.

July 8: Fiat, Italy's largest automaker, announces plans to scale back shifts at six of its Italian assembly plants.

July 15: GM announces plans to cut its white-collar workforce, spending on marketing and more production cutbacks, saving $15 billion US by the end of 2009.

Six companies build vehicles in Canada:

  • GM
  • Ford
  • Chrysler
  • Toyota
  • Suzuki
  • Honda

July: Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas, Ont., cuts 720 jobs.

Aug. 6: Toyota lays off 800 workers at Japanese production plant. Blames sinking North American sales.

Aug. 28: Auto parts plant Linamar Corp. of Guelph, Ont., announces it will cut as many as 500 people from its 12,000-strong workforce. Full story.

Aug. 29: Toyota announces temporary production cuts to plants in Britain and Turkey.

Sept. 6: Toyota delays full production at SUV assembly plant in Woodstock, Ont.

Sept. 9: French automaker Renault to cut 6,000 European jobs by 2009.

September: U.S. auto sales crash, plunging 27 per cent from the same month a year earlier.

Oct. 8: Volvo cuts 4,000 jobs worldwide.

Oct. 13: Nissan announces it will cut 1,680 jobs at an assembly plant in Barcelona, Spain; published reports say Volkswagen-owned Spanish carmaker Seat to lay off 4,700 autoworkers and tire-maker Bridgestone to cut 2,800 jobs from two Spanish plants.

Japan produced 11.6 million vehicles in 2007 while the U.S. produced 10.8 million.

Oct. 14: Daimler Trucks to lay off 2,300 employees in Ontario and Portland, Ore.; Ontario's Sterling Truck announces it will shut down in less than one year, throwing 1,300 people out of work.

Oct. 16: General Motors says it will lay off 1,600 employees at three assembly plants in Michigan and Delaware.

Oct. 20: 100 employees laid off from Ford assembly plant in Oakville, Ont.

Oct. 21: Nissan announces production cuts in U.S., Japan and Spain.

Oct. 23: Volvo to cut 850 jobs at its construction equipment unit in Europe. The announcement follows an earlier cut of 1,400 workers at truck plants in Belgium and Sweden.

Oct. 23: Chrysler to cut 1,825 factory jobs in the U.S.; GM announces it will cut 5,000 jobs, cuts benefits.

Oct. 24: Chrysler announces it will cut 25 per cent of its salaried workforce.

Nov. 7: Ford to cut 10 per cent of its North American salaried workforce costs by the end of January. The cuts could mean the elimination of roughly 2,260 white-collar jobs. Full Story.

Nov. 7: General Motors says it will temporarily lay off about 3,600 workers, including 500 at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., as it slows vehicle production. Full Story.

Nov. 10: General Motors says it is cutting another 1,900 workers at parts stamping, engine and transmission factories in North America. Full Story.

Dec. 12: General Motors says 20 plants across North America will shut down for all or part of January. The company's car plants in Oshawa will close for the month and the first week of February.  Full Story.

Dec. 17: Chrysler says it will close all 30 of is manufacturing plants for a month, from Dec. 19, with operations not coming back online until Jan. 19 or later.  Full story.


Jan. 6:Toyota announces a work stoppage of unprecedented scale, saying it will stop production at all 12 of its Japanese plants for 11 days over February and March.  Full story.

Jan. 20: German automakers BMW and Volkswagen say they will put thousands of employees on reduced hours. Volkswagen will put two-thirds, or 60,000, of its employees on shorter hours for five days in the last week of February. BMW will put 26,000 workers on shorter hours on various days in February and March.

Jan. 27: Honda says it is cutting production by 50,000 vehicles at its Japanese and North American auto plants, including one in Alliston, Ont.  Full story.

Jan. 30: Porsche says it will reduce workers' hours, cutting production by the equivalent of 19 days by mid-April. The German luxury sports car maker also cut eight days in January at its main plant in Zuffenhausen.

Feb. 6: Chrysler says it will temporarily close four assembly plants the following week, including one in Brampton, Ont.  Full story.

Feb. 9: Nissan says it is cutting 20,000 jobs, or 8.5 per cent of its global workforce. Full story.