US-based carmaker General Motors announced plans on Monday to scale down production in the United States and Canada, with thousands of factory floor jobs to be axed.
While most of the 14,700 jobs to be shed will be white collar positions, more than 6,000 production line jobs are expected to go. The figure represents a 15 percent cut to “adapt to changing conditions.”
GM’s latest move include the possible closure of seven plants worldwide, as the firm shifts its focuses from away from a stagnant sedan/saloon car market. The company will instead concentrate on trucks and SUVs, and will double its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles.
“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.”
Three assembly plants, in Detroit, Ohio, and Ontario, are earmarked for the main cuts along with two factories, in Michigan and Maryland, that build transmissions and batteries. The affected facilities build cars that will not be sold in the US after next year.
GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will stop making the Impala, Cadillac XTS and 2018 full-size pickups at the end of next year
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had spoken to Barra to express his “deep disappointment in the closure” of the plant in the Ontarian town of Oshawa.
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“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,” Trudeau said on Twitter.
Two other plants outside North America — as yet unnamed — are also due to close, in addition to the pre-announced shuttering of the firm’s plant in the South Korean city of Gunsan.
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The US’ largest carmaker, GM’s brands include such well-known names as Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac.
The announcement is the biggest restructuring in North America for GM since its bankruptcy a decade ago. Shares in the company rallied 7.6 percent to $38.66.
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rc/msh (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)
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