CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CHEVROLET PONTIAC CANADA GROUP-PARMA PLANT, DIVISION GENERAL MOTORS CO

CHEVROLET PONTIAC CANADA GROUP-PARMA PLANT, DIVISION GENERAL MOTORS CO

The CHEVROLET PONTIAC CANADA GROUP-PARMA PLANT, DIVISION GENERAL MOTORS CORP. at Brookpark and Stumph roads was built as part of GM's post-World War II expansion in the Cleveland area. The plant opened in 1949 to build automatic transmissions for the Chevrolet Division. By 1956 it employed 7,600 people in the manufacture of transmissions, propeller shafts, and pressed metal parts; employment rose to 7,740 in 1963. In 1980 the plant made 3,900 transmissions a day for rear-drive cars and also produced hoods and components for a new front-wheel drive transmission for light-duty trucks and vans. However, a recession in the early 1980s reduced the number of workers to 3,600 in Sept. 1984. About this time, the Chevrolet Pontiac Canada Group was formed as a division of GM. In 1985 Chevrolet launched a $580 million modernization of the Parma plant, which guaranteed its continued operation in the years to come, and in 1986 the plant began to manufacture parts for the new 2-door Beretta and the 4-door Corsica. At that time it had 3,700 hourly workers. By 1991 the number of hourly workers had increased to 4,250 at the Parma plant, including about 1,200 who had relocated from other GM plants as close as Euclid and Elyria and as far away as Alabama. By the 1999, the workforce was down to 3,126, but GM announced a $90 million dollar investment in the plant's pressed metal department.