General Motors announced a major restructuring of its global business, shutting production at five facilities in North America and slashing its staff. GM said it will reduce its salaried workforce by 15%, including a quarter of the company's executives.
The moves are the first big steps in the century-old GM's transformation. It is closing facilities and reinvesting money away from cars that once dominated roadways and to technology that the company believes will power its future. The restructuring is also about making cars people want now. Customers are increasingly shunning sedans in favor of SUVs and hatchbacks. The company also said the plan would make the company more efficient, saving it $6 billion a year by the end of 2020.
"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 CEO Mary Barra, in a statement. "We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success."
GM said it would shut down operations at plants in Detroit; Oshawa, Ontario; Warren, Ohio; White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan. The plants made sedans that have waned in popularity, including the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Cruise, the Buick LaCrosse, and the Cadillac CT6 and XTS. Two of the plants made engines and parts for those cars. The facilities made some trucks, but those trucks are also made at in Mexico.