Trump threatens General Motors after announced closures in Midwest

Roman Schwartz
November 28, 2018

Trump said he was being tough on Barra.

On Monday, GM announced that it planned to cut 14,000 blue-collar and salaried jobs, or 15 percent of its total workforce, and halt production at five factories (four in the US and one in Canada) next year in a bid to reduce costs amid slowing sales and changing consumer tastes.

Trump told GM on Monday it "better" find a new product for Lordstown Assembly plant in OH that will halt production in March. The factory is still in operation and now builds the Sonic and the Bolt electric auto. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build.

The United Automobile Workers (UAW) union vowed to "confront this decision by GM through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership". I believe they'll be opening up something else.

Just a short while later, Valley lawmakers and state officials began reacting to the news that at least temporarily GM Lordstown will close its doors. "The vehicle has become much more software-oriented", she said. "It's not going to be closed for long, I hope, Mary, because if it is you have a problem". "It would be like breaking up a family".

Sherrod Brown, called the decision "corporate greed at its worst".

The factory announcements likely represented GM's opening bid in contract talks with the union that start next year, said Kristen Dziczek, vice president of labor and industry with the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Many of those who will lose jobs are now working on conventional cars with internal combustion engines. "We appreciate the actions this administration has taken on behalf of industry to improve the overall competitiveness of USA manufacturing", the statement said.

She said GM is still hiring people with expertise in software and electric and autonomous vehicles.

Mr Trump unleashed the comments on Twitter a day after GM announced it would close down five auto factories and slash 14,000 jobs in North America, with numerous job cuts coming from the Midwest, where the President has promised a rebirth of manufacturing.

The heavily government-subsidized Chevy Volt, which the Obama administration promoted as the future of GM, is being discontinued, along with several other sedans, including the Cruze, the Impala, the Buick LaCrosse and the Cadillac CT6 and XTS. GM curtailed manufacturing operations in South Korea earlier this year, and the idling of the Oshawa plant had been widely reported in the Canadian press as under discussion. In all, six auto models were scrapped, leaving the company with nine remaining vehicle models.

China has become an increasingly important market for the automaker and in the first nine months of 2018, it sold 2.7 million cars in China compared to 2.6 million in all of North America. Now the full-electric Chevrolet Bolt can go up to 238 miles on a single charge.

Five GM auto plants are operating at 37 percent capacity, according to the Center for Automotive Research.

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