General Motors announced today that 5 manufacturing facilities in the US and Canada will be closing, in what the company referred to as an effort to continue “Transforming the global enterprise to advance the company’s vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion.” This marks the most substantial restructuring since the company filed for bankruptcy 10 years ago.
The statement, released Monday, November 26th read in part:
“In the past four years, GM has refocused capital and resources to support the growth of its crossovers, SUVs and trucks, adding shifts and investing $6.6 billion in U.S. plants that have created or maintained 17,600 jobs. With changing customer preferences in the U.S. and in response to market-related volume declines in cars, future products will be allocated to fewer plants next year.
Assembly plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include:
Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit.
Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio.
Propulsion plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include:
Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland.
Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan.”
A number of vehicles built at these plants will be cut from GM’s lineup including the all-electric Chevy Volt, Chevy Cruze, Cadillac CT6 and the Buick LaCrosse.
Naturally the news has upset officials on both sides of the border, with Detroit Mayor Mike Dugan saying he would like to “come up with a solution that works for GM and the employees,” and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posting on Twitter “GM workers have been part of the heart and soul of Oshawa for generations – and we’ll do everything we can to help the families affected by this news get back on their feet. Yesterday, I spoke with @GM’s Mary Barra to express my deep disappointment in the closure.”
The cuts will include personnel throughout the company, including 15 percent of salaried contract staff and 25 percent fewer executives to “streamline decision making.”
The statement also said that GM will be closing 2 facilities outside of North America but did not indicate which ones.
Barra stated that these actions were not in anticipation of an economic downturn but were part of the overall strategy of streamlining GM to meet the needs and preferences of future car buyers.