An announcement from General Motors on Monday informed of company plans to slow down production of cars that have not sold well in recent times. The company also says it will make cuts to its workforce in North America. GM says that the company will shift its focus to autonomous and electric vehicles due to a decline in demand for sedans powered by gas.
The current restructuring by GM is the largest for America’s top automobile manufacturer since it was forced to file bankruptcy ten years ago. The move also clearly indicates a change in the auto industry in North America.
Automobile manufacturers have enjoyed a decade of prosperity following the crisis of 2018. The financial crisis at that time resulted in government bailouts for the company.
The announcement from GM immediately drew criticism from United States President Donald Trump. The president demanded GM to search for a new vehicle to be manufactured at their Ohio plants. The president explains that he expressed his unhappiness with the announcement to company CEO Mary Barra. Ohio figures to be a key battleground state for the 2020 reelection bid of the president.
President Trump has been adamant during this two-year tenure as president that increases in manufacturing jobs are vital for the country. He says that GM ‘better’ add something to the manufacturing plans in Ohio in the near future.
GM did not provide an immediate response to comments made by the president. However, the company did take a moment to note it had two other facilities in the state that would remain at full operational capacity for the time being.
The current crisis for the auto manufacturing industry stems from risky U.S. trade policy, the rising cost of technology, and reluctance among investors to fund products.
Barra spoke in-depth on the matter Monday. She said that the decision to potentially close five North American plants and eliminate 15,000 jobs is not an easy decision to make. She explains the drastic moves may be a necessity to maintain company success while it explores new technology.
Barra says the business environment for automobile manufactures is changing at a rapid pace. She promises the moves will result in a stronger company.
Shares in GM rose nearly eight percent following the announcement. The value of shares also increased for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Company. The gains for the three companies outpaced the market as a whole on the day.