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GM converts Oshawa former plant into high-speed test track

New CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track named after GM Canada founder

Published: October 22, 2019, 2:30 PM
Updated: October 28, 2019, 3:12 AM

GM CTCMATT Oshawa facility sketch

General Motors is moving full speed ahead on the construction of its new Oshawa test track, which the company has announced will be named Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track, after GM Canada founder Colonel Sam McLaughlin.

GM CTCMATT Oshawa facility rendering

“Our founder in Oshawa, Colonel Sam McLaughlin, was one of the greatest Canadian innovators of his day,” said Scott Bell, president and managing director of GM Canada. “It’s entirely fitting that the McLaughlin legacy and brand will now be part of GM Canada’s ongoing transformation and our next big step forward in advanced technology development and testing in Durham Region.”

Part of the $170 million (Canadian) investment announced in spring 2019 as part of the Oshawa Transformation Agreement, the CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track will support the advanced software and engineering development being carried out on autonomous vehicle, embedded control, active safety, trailering and infotainment systems at CTC campuses in Oshawa and Markham (east and north of Toronto, respectively). Having it close to the CTC sites will help speed up development of new technologies, and keeps costs down by not requiring GM to rent facilities from outside sources.

GM CTCMATT Oshawa facility construction

“The Canadian Technical Centre McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track will demonstrate to the world that Oshawa continues to be an innovative city and a proven leader in transformation, technological advancements and partnerships in the transportation and automobile industry,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “The naming of this track after the great Colonel Sam McLaughlin is the perfect way to honour our rich automotive manufacturing heritage while propelling the City forward as an active force for vehicle advancements.”

Construction on the 22.3-hectare facility began in fall 2019 at the south end of GM’s Oshawa assembly facilities, and is expected to be completed in time for the facility to be fully operational in spring 2020. The test oval features two 366-metre straights connected by banked curves, to allow sustained high-speed testing.

GM Cold Weather Development Centre Kapuskasing

The CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track joins the Cold Weather Development Centre in Kapuskasing (about 850 km north of Toronto), enhancing the company’s advanced vehicle testing presence in Ontario. GM’s Milford Proving Ground in Michigan will also provide expertise.