Economy

GM closing Lordstown assembly plant, cutting 14,700 jobs in North America

GM closing Lordstown assembly plant, cutting 14,700 jobs in North America

"I don't want to give up hope for this facility and these people". Customers are increasingly shunning sedans in favor of SUVs and hatchbacks.

GM said it will take pre-tax charges of $3 billion to $3.8 billion to pay for the cutbacks, but expects the actions to improve annual free cash flow by $6 billion by the end of 2020. That means GM needs to allocate more resources to purely electric cars, unlike the hybrid Volt, and to autonomous technology, Barra said.

"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 in a released statement.

The list of assembly plants that will be "unallocated" next year includes the Oshawa factory in Ontario, Detroit-Hamtramck in MI and Lordstown in Ohio. The plant is used to make the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans as well as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. The auto produced there is also is built in Mexico.

The company, which was incorporated in 1908, is performing reasonably well - earnings are up and the balance sheet is healthy.

The restructuring announcement also comes after Canada and the USA reached the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, after months of strained negotiations.

She also noted that tariffs on imported aluminum and steel have hit the company, but she stopped short of saying they had anything to do with the restructuring. The company said the moves are part of an effort to cut 15 percent of its workforce. Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Uber and Tesla (TSLA) are leading Silicon Valley's push into the self-driving cars.

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GM said the closures, which will also affect four US factories, are part of a broader shift toward electric and autonomous vehicles.

In the meantime, GM is trying to reinvent how it makes vehicles. It makes no sense to keep producing some auto models at a loss.

Many of those who will lose jobs are now working on conventional cars with internal combustion engines.

The transition will come at the expense of potentially tens of thousands of employees.

The company says 5,901 hourly employees and 804 salaried employees work at these plants.

"I believed what he said, and at that moment it turned me into a Trump supporter", Wolikow said.

Governor Kasich says he is seeing if there is any way to preserve the Lordstown plant and his office is going to do everything it can to help affected families have access to new opportunities.

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U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from OH, said he's "deeply frustrated" with GM's decision to shut down a plant in Lordstown and is pressing Barra to come up with an alternative product for the factory.

Jennifer French, MPP for Oshawa, said she found the report of the plant closure "gravely concerning". GM said the closure affects a total of 2,973 assembly line jobs.

GM's unions aren't happy.

The United Auto Workers union said it would fight GM's decision to close the plants.

I am deeply frustrated with General Motors' decision to shut down its Lordstown plant and disappointed with how the hardworking employees there have been treated throughout this process. Just last week, Lordstown initiated a campaign to save the plant with the support of politicians at the local and state level. Dias said to cheers from union members.

All of the products now being assembled at those three plants are expected to stop being produced by the end of 2019.

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