GM to Close Plants and Kill Multiple Sedans
In a major restructuring move, General Motors announced today that it will close five plants, discontinue several sedan models, and cut its North American salaried workforce by 15 percent.
GM said these moves will help it save $6 billion over the next two years amid multiple uncertainties in the industry. Rising demand for trucks and SUVs, a slumping market for sedans, international trade upheaval, and the need to develop electric and autonomous vehicles have all combined to make the future cloudy for the automaker.
“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient, and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.
As GM gets rid of unprofitable vehicles, it’s also planning to pour more resources into developing new technology. Over the next two years, the automaker expects to double its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles.
Here’s a look at the major details of GM’s plan.
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GM’s five planned plant closings will come next year, allowing the automaker to operate its remaining plants at a higher capacity. Facilities being shuttered include three assembly plants that specialize in slow-selling sedans and are operating far from full capacity:
- Lordstown, Ohio, which produces the Chevrolet Cruze sedan.
- Detroit-Hamtramck, Michigan, which turns out the Cadillac CT6, the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Impala, and the Chevrolet Volt.
- Oshawa, Ontario, which builds the Cadillac XTS sedan and the Chevy Impala.
GM also plans to close a propulsion plant in Baltimore and a transmission plant in Warren, Michigan.
Does closing these plants mean discontinuing the cars they build? Yes, GM confirmed. The Chevy Volt and the Chevy Cruze sedan will end production in March. The Chevy Impala will end U.S. production in March and Canadian production later in the year. The Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse will also end their runs in March. U.S. production for the Cadillac CT6 will wrap up midyear, but the model will still be produced and sold in China.
GM’s plant closings are expected to affect about 6,300 workers. It’s not clear how many will lose their jobs — some will be given the opportunity to transfer to other plants.
GM also plans to cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce, which comes out to about 8,000 jobs. These cuts will result in 25 percent fewer executives.
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