President Trump said Monday he's pressuring the CEO of General Motors to open a new factory in OH quickly following the automaker's announcement of plant closings in the Midwest, a business decision that could complicate the president's re-election bid.
"We recognise the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success", said GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, who outlined her new plan during a conference call Monday morning.
A Canadian union, Unifor, which represents most unionized auto workers in Canada, said Sunday it was informed by GM that there would be no product allocated to the plant in Oshawa, about 37 miles (60 km) from Toronto, after December 2019.
Factories that could be closed include assembly plants in Detroit and Oshawa, Ontario, and Lordstown, Ohio, as well as transmission plants in Warren, Michigan, and near Baltimore.
At a rally near the plant last summer, Trump talked about passing by big factories whose jobs "have left OH", then told people not to sell their homes because the jobs are "coming back".
General Motors on Monday announced a major restructuring of its global business, saying it will shut production at five facilities in North America and slash its staff. GM will reduce its salaried workforce by 15%, including a quarter of the company's executives.
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General Motors said that it would shift more of its investment into electric and autonomous vehicles in the face of a declining market for traditional fuel-powered cars and as it tries to make $6 billion of annual savings.
Factories in OH and MI will halt production and jobs will be cut across all of North America, CEO Mary Barra said.
Work on six-speed transmissions made at the Warren, Michigan, transmission plant would stop August 1, while the Baltimore transmission plant would stop production April 1, GM said.
Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that General Motors should stop making cars in China and make them in the United States instead.
GM opened the Lordstown plant in the late 1960s.
President Donald Trump has long promised to boost the U.S. auto industry and bring manufacturing jobs back home.
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GM is calling the production halt of these two United States plants a "proactive" part of its efforts to transform its product development. The Lordstown plant makes the Chevy Cruze. He said that was the first he'd heard of the plan. The industry has suffered falling sales in recent years in the crucial USA and China markets, at the same time as the trade war being waged between the countries is hitting earnings. The company offered buyouts to 18,000 white-collar workers in October, but hasn't said how many accepted. "I think that is a pretty profound statement from GM that they choose to do it at this time", Keller said. Two powertrain sites and three other plants outside North America will also be affected.
While boss Mary Barra insisted the firm is positive about the future, the plan will send a chill through markets, given Cadillac and Chevrolet maker GM's traditional role as a bellwether for the U.S. economy.
The meeting was planned prior to GM's announcement on Monday, the official said.
Just last week, politicians and union leaders kicked off a campaign to keep the Lordstown plant operating.
The Auto Union is precisely one of GM's problems.
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