Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Trump threatens General Motors after announced closures in Midwest

GMC truck sits in a General Motors dealer's lot in Nashville Tenn GMC truck sits in a General Motors dealer's lot in Nashville Tenn
| 28 November, 2018, 02:45

The largest USA automaker is cutting seven plants and eliminating unpopular sedan models during a time when auto sales remain brisk, a sign that chief executive officer Mary Barra is making changes now before an economic downturn forces her hand.

On top of this, Barra is plowing money into GM Cruise LLC - the unit developing the automaker's self-driving technology - and is developing 20 fully electric cars to sell globally starting in 2023.

"I implore President Trump to keep his word when he came to the Mahoning Valley past year and promised jobs were 'all coming back, '" he said in the press release. The layoffs will hit 8,000 white-collar employees and at least 5,900 blue-collar workers.

Barra said the 110-year-old auto maker would prepare for the future by doubling investment into developing self-driving and electric vehicles.

The shift by USA consumer preferences have been away from passenger cars to larger, more comfortable SUVs and pickup trucks has been swift and severe, leaving automakers scrambling to readjust. It was about 50 percent cars just five years ago.

Trump separately told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that General Motors Co should stop making cars in China and make them in the United States instead. "So far President Trump has been asleep at the switch and owes this community an explanation", Ryan said Monday.

Trump added: "I said 'I heard you're closing your plant, '" he recalled from his conversation with Barra.

As recently as 2012, passenger cars made up more than 50 percent of all USA new vehicle sales. The assembly plants are in Detroit; Lordstown, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario.

GM earlier on Monday announced the closure of seven of its factories around the world as part of a restructuring plan.


Trump said he was being tough on Barra. They will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.

But those expansions aren't enough to accommodate all of the roughly 3,300 US factory workers who could lose their jobs.

In a news conference earlier Tuesday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he met with Barra and the two had a "lengthy conversation" about the layoffs.

"You can't blame Trump, you can't blame anybody in elected office because we have the wrong product at the wrong time, " Hill said.

GM said it would phase out certain models of slower-selling cars, halting production at four factories in the USA and one in Canada.

GM declined to immediately comment.

One of the plants where GM plans to slash production and lay off workers is in the area where Trump has promised to boost employment. He said he voted for Trump two years ago because of the Republican's vow to help American workers. Some UAW workers could land jobs at other GM factories, but many will face uncertain futures unless GM reverses course.

GM opened the Lordstown plant in the late 1960s. In all, six vehicle models were scrapped, leaving the company with nine remaining auto models. Now the full-electric Chevrolet Bolt can go up to 238 miles on a single charge. The credit begins to phase-out after an automaker sells 200,000 eligible vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Bolt electric auto.

GM builds full-size Chevrolet and GMC pickups in Mexico, and it recently announced that a new Chevrolet Blazer SUV will be built there.

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