By on February 4, 2019


Ren Cen. GM

Last Friday’s whisperings of a “Black Monday” panned out, with General Motors announcing the elimination of roughly 4,000 salaried workers — part of a preexisting pledge to reduce its North American workforce by 15 percent.

Pink slips are in the process of being handed out, an unwanted delivery that should take two weeks to complete. In total, GM hopes to cull 8,000 salaried workers and reduce its executive ranks by 25 percent.

Part of the plan to slim down its 54,000-strong North American workforce by 15,000 employees includes the shuttering of five plants, three of which crank out doomed GM car models.

According to sources who spoke to Reuters, Monday’s targets include hundreds of positions at its information technology centers in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan. As well, more than 1,000 jobs are said to be lost at GM’s Warren, Michigan Tech Center. The job cuts were revealed via mass layoff notices sent to state agencies.

In correspondence with Reuters, GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said, “These actions are necessary to secure the future of the company, including preserving thousands of jobs in the U.S. and globally. We are taking action now while the overall economy and job market are strong, increasing the ability of impacted employees to continue to advance in their careers, should they choose to do so.”

This round of cuts comes two months after the automaker eliminated 1,500 contract workers. Some 2,300 salaried workers have already accepted a voluntary buyout, Morrissey said.

As for Canadian layoffs, those are largely complete, CBC reports.

While the Canadian Oshawa Assembly plant is doomed, the fate of Ohio’s Lordstown Assembly and Michigan’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility will be the subject of much debate and advocacy as UAW bargaining talks get started this summer. From these plants pour forth the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt, and Impala, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac XTS and CT6. Production should cease by the end of the year.

GM claims it plans to keep the CT6 on dealer lots, either by shipping the sedan from China or, ideally, moving production to an alternate U.S. plant.

[Image: General Motors]

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30 Comments on “GM Begins Axing 4,000 Salaried Workers...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…part of a preexisting pledge to reduce its North American workforce by 15 percent”

    Well, at least they keep their promises.

    “Real Workers, Not Actors”

  • avatar

    FCA is hiring, I’m sure they’ll appreciate a larger pool of available employees.

  • avatar

    I very much doubt GM will be laying off any of those people who are actually responsible for the slide of GM sales or the painfully desperate and stupid T.V. spots GM has run in the past year. I wanted Ms. Barra to succeed , but she needs to go. The stigma that is a cloud over every GM product has remained. The Bail Out , the down sizing , the new team , all have brought about nothing. GM has been dead to many drivers since the 80’s crop of under engineered products. All the fast talking and bold predictions by Bob Lutz and others have proven time and again to be empty hype.

    • 0 avatar

      Ms Barra is incompetent. She was hand-picked by Dan Akerson, whose level of incompetence in the auto industry was exceeded only by that Home Depot guy who ran Chrysler for Cerberus. Akerson celebrated the fact that he knew nothing about the auto industry. He favored and promoted people who sucked up to him and massaged his massive ego. He also favored people who were needlessly cruel and viscous for no reason, other than they liked it. He rewarded lack of knowledge.
      Those were her job qualifications. Not any actual skills or intelligence or anything.

    • 0 avatar

      A former colleague was often heard to observe that, in the corporate world, the spiral of incompetence only runs upward – the hard part is finding the on-ramp.

  • avatar

    GM better stop importing “Buicks” from China.

    • 0 avatar

      GM will eventually end up as a Chinese automaker (Guangzhou Motors, as someone at TTAC put it). Shedding the American workforce is just a step towards that goal, and importing Buicks to the US is another step. Make no mistake about it, we will see Chinese-made Chevys and Cadillacs in the near future. (Whether anyone will buy them is another matter, but people are still stupid enough to buy Chinese Volvos, so who knows…)

      • 0 avatar

        Someone who cared once wrote that the Chinese did not want GM in 2009 and don’t want GM now, or in the future.

        GM is an albatross because of its own doing. And a lot of help from the UAW.

        I was a GM fan for many years, decades even. I believed that crap about “what’s good for GM is good for America.” Another fallacy laid bare.

        So, this is the reality of today. And reality bites.

        Fortunately, the US economy is doing great and these pink-slipped former employees should have no problem finding other work.

        Wages have even ticked up.

        • 0 avatar

          I think it is correct to say that the Chinese didn’t want GM in 2009. However, they may well in the future. GM is essentially shutting down its NorthAmerican pass car operation over the next 5-10 years. At that point, it becomes a very attractive acquisition target, for its truck and SUV business here and its electric car technology. US consumers are unlikely to ever buy an electric or hybrid car from GM but put that technology into a Chinese branded and manufactured car and it has a chance. Chinese purchaser would pick up GM’s dealer network, which while bloated would be incredibly expensive to develop.

          • 0 avatar

            Horace, we shall see.

            I would like to add that China is far ahead of the US when it comes to EVs because they are driven to it by pollution, and the need to import oil.

            Couple that with China being ahead in Solar and Wind energy development, my bet would be on Asia (China, India, et al) to be the trend-setter for a lot of futuristic things.

            Not the US.

            With all the Intellectual Property the Chinese have stolen from the West, all the initial R&D work has been done. All China has to do now is implement what they learned and raise the bar.

            And they will. Look at some of the electronics they’re marketing now, in an Asian market that is exponentially bigger than all of North America.

          • 0 avatar

            Based on your prognostication I wouldn’t want to be a GM dealer.

          • 0 avatar

            28CL, it’s all in the public knowledge domain, where China is, where China stands, and where China wants to be with China 2020 and China 2025.

            Allow me to add that I am THRILLED beyond ecstasy to see President Trump make his position on international trade and economic development known globally.

            It is so refreshing and exhilarating to no longer have to apologize for being an American, like under the last administration.

            America is what it is because it is, was and will be in the future.

            And that’s why so many foreigners are beating down our doors, and crossing our borders illegally, just to be a part of what being in America is.

            I welcome ALL immigrants who qualify, just as long as they get here LEGALLY, just like my parents did.

    • 0 avatar

      Stop the Invasion, Boycott Envision

  • avatar

    “GM Begins Axing 4,000 Salaried Workers”

    Axing them what? “How you doin’?”? “Wife and kids OK?”? What?

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, typical of modern journalism, and TTAC staff writers think of themselves as superior examples of the genre.

      GM is not axing workers, it is axing positions. Actual blood is difficult to clean up.

      The people losing those positions are merely detritus preventing GM meeting its grand and glorious fiscal targets, and must be cast aside to rot, their thinking goes. That they were obviously employed doing nothing and can be let go without consequence to operations is an indictment of current management in any case.

    • 0 avatar

      He means washing them with soap so they can get more sex.

  • avatar

    Long ago, I went out on my own. I looked at friends and associates, and thought that I must be crazy. They have a real job with benefits and I’m doing it all alone….

    Fast Forward two business cycles, and I’m surrounded by those same people, all canned in their 50’s, and suddenly scrambling for something…anything remotely comparable. TV business…publishing…accounting…sciences….all conveniently dumped at what we thought would be the corner office, casual Friday part of the career….

    These guys are added to that list.

    • 0 avatar

      *Do I know what you went through.* Conquering fear is the biggest hurdle.

      Early 1990s…I was a good enough engineer that I was promoted into management. A year later, a downturn and a RIF happened. They kept me but bumped me back down. At that point I realized my engineering skills were a sellable commodity (along with a good Rolodex). So I struck out on my own…hired gun…buy what you need and then…adios. No vacation or sick leave, had to pay for health insurance, find my own gigs.

      But I was never out of work except for a few weeks here and there during slack markets (there’s the vacation) and the billing rate was good, the work interesting and the scenery changed. The best part…met lots of great people along the way. Just had to get over the angst of not wearing a company badge.

  • avatar

    Sounds like Horace worked in the Ren Cen, his assessment of Akerson seems spot on to me.

    He continued to promote sycophants, and they also the do the same. As for vicious, history may judge his CEO pick to have been the wrong person for the job.

    Anything less than good to great feedback is failure. The new trucks are getting mixed marks in the press and on line. Ditto the XT6, and XT4 and XT5 (trivia break: Did you know Subaru had a XT Coupe in the 80s? Extra weird…. but they outgrew XT and now are a very credible).

    These should have been BIG money makers. If gas stays cheap, they will merely be moneymakers.

    These are all on M. Barra’s watch. Can’t blame ‘predecessors’.

    Her big bet on electric/autonomous is her quest to be considered one of the industry’s greats. She’s looking more like Roger Smith.

    Too bad for people at GM. There is a lot of talent there…squandered, or compromised for a few pennies.

    Penny-wise, pound foolish, delusions about the future.

    Toyota’s CEO makes a fraction of GM’s. Who’s the better leader?

    Napoleon embarked onto Moscow with the Grande Armee, best in Europe.

    GM is following in the same direction, but with a weakened and demoralized workforce. Arrogance and delusion lead to destruction.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @highdesertcat–At the right price the Chinese might want GM. Start with a liquidation sale GM assets could become attractive so long as the buyer doesn’t have to deal with the UAW. Keep shrinking GM. Close some more plants and cut some more workers and GM gets a little easier to acquire or liquidate. I believe this is the ultimate strategy of Barra and the GM board is to sell GM off piece by piece and take the money and run. That might not be a bad strategy because GM might be past redemption.

    • 0 avatar

      Jeff S, sorry about the delay in replying. I had to be away. Rarely get to spend much time in front of a PC these days.

      Not having to deal with the UAW, or any union, would help a great deal for any buyer.

      I agree that GM is past redemption but I also believe that the US gov’t will not let GM fail, no matter who is in the White House or who runs Congress. Lots of factors, war time production being one, union employment being another, political considerations being a third, etc.

      As to what GM really has (piece by piece) that’s worth buying, it has to be in the eye of the beholder.

      Chevy trucks/GMC trucks, also rans in a field dominated and innovated by Ford, and increasingly more popular RAM.

      Cadillac, a difficult sell to a niche crowd pre-occupied with the better Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Lexus offerings. Yup, nothing has a booty like a Cadillac, but Bang Bang, it’s not about getting laid.

      Buick, yeah that might be a nice fit for China, and Asia.

      Somehow, Silverado Made in China doesn’t sound as sweet or appealing to a GM buyer.

  • avatar

    Why don’t you all start a car company and compete! You’re so smart, no doubt you’ll be rich in no time!

    • 0 avatar

      This. Armchair experts are just SO SMART, until they have to actually contribute something more than a screed pecked out on the keyboard of the PC in their mom’s basement.

    • 0 avatar

      Worked 30 years in automobile industry at Senior Exec level. Just reporting what I saw. Already rich. Starting a car company not smart today. Takes lots of capital for relatively small returns. I can remember telling my family in 2000 that within 10 years 2 of the “Big 3” would be bankrupt. They too thought I was crazy.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @highdesertcat–You are probably right the Government will not let GM fail. GM has a few vehicles worth saving such as the Tahoe, Suburban, and Corvette but the plant equipment would be a good buy for pennies on the dollar. I don’t think Barra and the board are through with the cutting and downsizing. Buick should be a Chinese specific brand. GM needs to get rid of the designers that designed the new Silverado such an ugly truck and much too important a product for GM to mess up. GM should also get rid of Daewoo they don’t need it anymore and it is a drain on GM.

    • 0 avatar

      ” I don’t think Barra and the board are through with the cutting and downsizing. ”

      I agree. The reality is here. These chickens have come home to roost.

      But at least a 1000 or so GM workers have been offered jobs in other plants for now.

  • avatar

    Looks like a disproportionate number of cuts are focused on IT and R&D. That makes sense. As long as the CEO looks good that’s all that matters.

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