According to usatoday.com, General Motors is poised to close factories in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Canada, and slash 15 percent of its salaried workforce in a sweeping cost-cutting plan designed to boost its profits.
The Detroit-based automaker said it would end production by the end of 2019 at its Lordstown Assembly plant in northeast Ohio; its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in southeast Michigan; its Oshawa Assembly plant in Ontario; its Baltimore Operations parts plant; and its Warren Transmission Operations plant in southeast Michigan.
Assembly plants are job juggernauts. GM has about 1,500 employees at the Detroit plant, 1,600 at the Lordstown factory and 2,500 in Oshawa.
The announcement comes ahead of next year’s contract talks with the United Auto Workers union, which could potentially lead to decisions to devote vehicles to those facilities.
But there’s a serious chance that the plants close for good.
CEO Mary Barra is seeking to reposition GM for a future defined by self-driving cars, ride-sharing networks and electric vehicles.
The plan may signal the demise in the U.S. of several passenger cars that have been struggling, including the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac XTS.
The cuts will make GM “lean and agile” as the company aims to “lead in autonomous and lead in electric vehicles,” Barra said.
Taken together, the moves will deliver more than $6 billion in additional annual cash flow by the end of 2020, GM said. That includes $4 billion in cost cuts and $1.5 billion in reduced capital expenditures.
GM said it would also close two additional plants outside of North America by the end of 2019. It will also continue with plans to close its plant in Gunsan, South Korea.
The workforce reduction will affect 15 percent of the company’s salaried and salaried contract workforce. It’s not clear how many of those cuts will be voluntary and how many will take the form of layoffs. GM offered buyouts to 18,000 workers several weeks ago.
The company said it would also have 25 percent fewer executives.