According to reports, General Motors will cut up to 14,000 workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it abandons many of its car models and restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles. The reduction includes about 8,000 white-collar employees, or 15% of GM's North American white-collar workforce. Some workers will take buyouts while others will be laid off.
At the factories, around 3,300 blue-collar workers could lose jobs in Canada and another 2,600 in the U.S. Some U.S. workers, however, could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production.
The company also said it will stop operating two additional factories outside North America by the end of next year in addition to a previously announced plant closure in Gunsan, Korea.
The restructuring reflects the changing U.S. and North American auto markets as a dramatic shift away from cars toward SUVs and trucks continues. In October, almost 65% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. were trucks or SUVs.
Facilities that could be closed include the Detroit/Hamtramck assembly plant, which makes the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Impala and Volt, and the Cadillac CT6. LaCrosse and Volt production will end March 1, while CT6 and Impala production would stop June 1.
The plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car, is also on the list. GM said the Cruze would no longer be sold in the U.S. Production would stop March 1. Work on six-speed transmissions made at the Warren, Mich., transmission plant would stop Aug. 1, while the Baltimore transmission plant would stop production April 1, GM said.
GM's plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will stop making the Impala, Cadillac XTS and 2018 full-size pickups in the fourth quarter of next year.