GM To Close 7 Plants, Chop 15% Of Salaried Workforce (NYSE:GM)

Signage at the General Motors Detroit Hamtramck assembly plant in Detroit on Nov. 26 2018. Anthony Lanzilote  Bloomberg

Most of the affected factories build cars that won't be sold in the US after next year. Another two will close outside North America.

The move comes amid slowing sales for the auto company.

The Oshawa operation became a talking point for U.S. President Donald Trump during Canada-U.S. trade negotiations, according to a Toronto Star report about an off-the-record aside during an interview with Bloomberg News over the summer. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra is trying to make the company leaner as USA auto demand slides from a record in 2016 and sales in China - GM's other profit centre - are also in a slump.

"I just want to reassure the GM workers, the supply chain suppliers, that we're doing everything we can and will do everything possible to make sure that we support them, we stand by them".

"I'm concerned, I haven't heard from General Motors yet and I'm waiting to hear what the story or announcement is tomorrow", Henry told 680 NEWS. After we are sworn in, Jon Husted and I will be visiting the Detroit Auto Show in January to make our case in-person to GM about the future of the plant. "We think it's appropriate to do it at a time, and get in front of it, while the company is strong and while the economy is strong". That's why GM bought Cruise, a separate company with big backing from SoftBank and Honda.

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What's more, the Cruze plant just outside Youngtown is in a Democratic and labor stronghold, where Trump won over a surprising number of voters two years ago by reaching out to what he called America's "forgotten men and women".

Could Korean production be under threat? The company last month offered voluntary buyouts for 18,000 salaried workers.

GM - whose brands include Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC - said the cuts would save $6bn (£4.68bn) by the end of next year.

Lordstown, which has dropped from three shifts to one in recent years, exclusively produces the Chevrolet Cruze.

In stunning move, GM announces it will close 12 unproductive factories, including the Oshawa No. 2 plant and eliminate 3,750 jobs at its vehicle plant. Barra said the industry is changing rapidly and moving toward electric propulsion, autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing, and GM must adjust.

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"Obviously incentives by themselves don't keep a auto plant open", said the executive, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. "That's a real mismatch in a market where 40 per cent of the vehicles sold are crossover utilities".

Barra is reducing staff from operations that make conventional cars and hiring people who can design electric cars or add software prowess to GM Cruise, the automaker's autonomous vehicle unit in San Francisco. Trump says GM needs to "get a vehicle that is selling well and put it back" into the OH plant.

The President, speaking to reporters on his way to a pair of campaign stops in MS, said he spoke with GM CEO Mary Barra about the closures, which will also hit a fifth North American plant in Canada. That brought praise from Wall Street: GM's stock rose more than 5% Monday.

GM plans to halt production next year at three assembly plants - Lordstown, Ohio, Hamtramck, Michigan, and Oshawa, Ontario. Also affected are propulsion plants in Warren, Michigan, as well as in White Marsh, Maryland.

The four American plants employ a combined 3,800 hourly and salaried staff, and the Oshawa facility employs 2,200.

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"If you look at what GM is really doing, they're taking a bunch of one-shift plants that have been limping along with very low demand and short workweeks and the whole 9 yards", former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said.

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