General Motors Shuts Down Three North American Assembly Plants, Cuts 14,000 Jobs

Dwayne Harmon
November 28, 2018

President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to strip General Motors of a tax credit that makes its electric vehicles more affordable for auto buyers, escalating a dispute with the automaker over its plan to halt production at several American plants . He said he had talked to Barra and informed her that "this country's done a lot for General Motors" and that the company needed to "get back in there soon".

But Trump warned his administration is now considering cutting all subsidies for GM, including for electric vehicles.

Trump told GM on Monday it had "better" find a new product for Lordstown Assembly plant in OH, where production of the Chevy Cruze will end in March.

The company said the cuts - 2,500 jobs in Oshawa, GM's Canadian heartland, as well as 3,300 production workers in the USA and 8,000 salaried staff - are part of a dramatic course correction aimed at better positioning GM for the dominance of electrified, interconnected and automated automobiles. In 2009, for instance, GM announced that it meant to close a huge assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, north of Detroit. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build.

GM will stop production at the following three plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario.

While talking to reporters, Barra said GM is making the cuts to "get in front of it while the company is strong and while the economy is strong". GM said the moves are created to prepare the company for a future of driverless and electric vehicles.

GM will jettison the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6 sedans next year.

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Ms Barra's gamble to cut the core business and bet on self-driving taxis "is a huge risk", said Maryann Keller, a longtime industry analyst with a self-titled consulting firm in Stamford, Connecticut. In the meantime, external forces-particularly, China, GM's largest market-have dented GM's bottom line, wiping out much of the company's savings from the GOP tax reform.

His tweets cited his disappointment with GM CEO Mary Barra and also referred to the 2008 government bailout of the USA vehicle industry. I say, "Well get a auto that is selling well and put it back in".

She also noted that tariffs on imported aluminum and steel have hit the company, but she stopped short of saying they had anything to do with the restructuring.

At the factories, around 3,300 blue-collar workers could lose jobs in the United States and another 2,600 in Canada, but some U.S. workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production.

While industry-wide passenger auto sales were down 13.2 percent through the first nine months of the year, pickup truck and SUV sales rose 8.3 percent. "So far President Trump has been asleep at the switch and owes this community an explanation", Ryan said Monday. It's expected to reach that point by the end of this year.

That said, GM still has skin in the game. GM curtailed manufacturing operations in South Korea earlier this year, and the idling of the Oshawa plant had been widely reported in the Canadian press as under discussion.

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