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UPDATE: GM Cuts Plants, Products and Workforce

General Motors Co. is trimming its product lineup, reducing its workforce and shutting down seven factories worldwide.
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General Motors Co. is trimming its product lineup, reducing its workforce and shutting down seven factories worldwide.

The moves, which are largely concentrated in the U.S., would affect more than 14,000 employees. GM CEO Mary Barra says the plan aims to generate an annual cash savings of about $6 billion by 2020, an annual cost savings of $4.5 billion, and an average capital spending rate reduction of $1.5 billion.

The company’s plant closures will affect about 6,000 hourly workers in North America. White collar cutbacks will eliminate more than 8,000 employees in the region. The company has about 180,000 employees worldwide, including 103,000 in the U.S.

CEO Mary Barra says the company will prioritize future spending to develop five next-generation vehicle platforms for electrified powertrains. Vehicles that ride on those chassis are expected to account for 75% of the company’s global sales within five years. The new platforms will be accompanied by a restructured global production development staff.

To improve capacity utilization, GM says it will force the closure of three final assembly plants, all of which make slow-selling sedans, by not allocating new vehicle programs to them. The facilities and their current models are:

  • Oshawa Assembly in Ontario (Chevrolet Impala large sedan, Cadillac XTS luxury sedan)
  • Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan (Cadillac CT6 large sedan, Chevrolet Impala sedan, Buick LaCrosse sedan and Chevrolet Volt extended-range hybrid sedan)
  • Lordstown Assembly in Ohio (Chevy Cruze compact sedan)

GM also will take similar steps to shutter two drivetrain facilities:

  • Baltimore Operations in Maryland (electric motors, heavy-duty gearboxes and hybrid transmissions)
  • Warren Transmission in Michign (6-speed automatic transmissions and electric drive units for hybrid cars)

The carmaker says it intends to close two unnamed factories outside North America by the end of next year. Those facilities are in addition to a vehicle assembly plant in Gunsan, South Korea, whose closure was announced in February.

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