By on February 1, 2019

GM

General Motors’ cost-cutting plan could hit home in a big way for salaried employees next week.

While the automaker has already begun cutting its salaried workforce, part of a broader streamlining push that includes plant closures and model discontinuations, sources claim Monday could bring widespread pink slip action.

According to two sources who spoke to Automotive News, GM CEO Mary Barra’s plan to cut 15 percent of GM’s salaried employees will hit hard on Monday, which one advisor reportedly referred to as “Black Monday.”

Reducing a salaried workforce of roughly 54,000 North American employees by 15 percent means some 8,000 jobs need to go. Some already have. Late last year, GM offered voluntary buyouts for salaried staff, and AN reports some 1,500 contract workers and 2,250 white collar types have already sprung for the bait.

That leaves GM over 4,000 employees shy of its target. According to the sources, the looming cuts should take place over the course of several weeks.

GM, which hasn’t made its existing salaried cuts public, responded to the report by stating, “We are not confirming timing. Our employees are our priority. We will communicate with them first.”

Thousands more hourly workers stand to lose their jobs as the automaker shutters two transmission plants and three assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada, with the overall cuts expected to free up $6 billion annually by 2020. The plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Lordstown Assembly, and Oshawa Assembly see their flow of product dry up over the course of 2019.

The move will see five models — the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt, and Impala, Buick Lacrosse, and Cadillac XTS — drop from GM’s lineup, though the Cadillac CT6, built at Detroit-Hamtramck, will apparently live on.

[Image: General Motors]

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56 Comments on “Report: ‘Black Monday’ Looms for GM Employees...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’ve been through this a million times myself. All I can say is I hope the affected people land on their feet and God bless.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    +1

  • avatar
    redgolf

    in the auto industry, white collar/blue collar, “get use to disappointment!” (classic line from the movie The Princes Bride-Westley)

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Time to call Roger Moore for the sequel: “Mary and Me”.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    10 years ago as GM was entering bankruptcy it was battling for the spot as worlds largest automaker. In 10 years Barra has turned this once massive company into a significantly smaller auto outfit that’s survivability is based on reusing the same platforms and embarrassing power trains across 4 names on a multitude of minivans and less than stellar economy cars.

    I can’t tell if GM is worse now than before bankruptcy or not. One would imagine trimming 4 nameplates, clearing billions in debt, and leaning up the company would produce a stronger company, not one that is on a downward march to obscurity.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Still not small enough apparently as Buick and GMC continue to be a thing despite not bring anything unique to the table.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        Buick and GMC don’t need to do anything but what they already do; extract more margin from the same Chevy.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          But at what cost? Separate advertising and dealerships are required. Different stamping dies and parts molds. Wouldn’t someone looking to purchase a GMC just buy the Chevy version anyway since its the same? Or would they jump ship to Ford or Ram? If its the later then these brands serve a purpose, but if its the former then GM is losing money here.

      • 0 avatar
        apl

        I agree 100%. Buick should had been dropped right after Pontiac, and either GMC or the Chevy truck line should had been dropped soon afterwards. Who ever convinced the government overseers during the Government Motors era that Buick and GMC were still viable divisions sure was a great salesman to pull that off. Supposedly it was the Buick selling enough vehicles in China & the Chinese could pronounce Buick. With GMC staying, the word was that buyers of GMC trucks were loyal buyers of that brand, and would not buy the Chevy version of the same truck. Seem like lame excuses to keep both divisions, but the overseers bought it.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        GMC is the only GM line I’d consider based on style. Tarted up Chevys they are, but much better looking.

        Unfortunately in looking at consumer reviews as I’m shopping the Acadia and Jeep GC they’re both mighty good looking but saddled with reliability issues. I wish it was better but it looks like I’ll again go Japanese…

    • 0 avatar

      In fact in a decade GM has gone from the number 1 carmaker to 4th. Nissan surpassed GM in 2017. You can’t cut your way to success. This is why Toyota will eventually surpass GM in US sales. You cannot base your lineup on mediocre Trucks and SUVs with cheap interiors.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      HUMMER:

      GM worse now?
      Yes. The product is KEY. And it is very bad.

      Silverado? The single biggest $ generator. Last in the race against FORD and RAM. And FUGLY.

      Equinox? They sell like mad but, bad plastic interiors. mid pack re sale and crash worthiness. Also, cannot get safety suite items unless you buy the high ZOOT trim levels.

      XT5- I was in my sisters 2018 a couple days back. Front passenger. My right shoulder WAS RIGHT INTO THE ‘B’ PILLAR. HORRIBLE!! No room – cant even slide a finger in the gap.
      Laff but I have more shoulder room in my 18 Forester.

      I rented an Impala last week in NY and PA. 600 miles later. Bunker visibility. Worst in class ingress and egress. I mean the seat bottom is scalloped out, the floor lip is very high and roof door opening comes down 3-4 inches. I am tall, seat was back, but i had to skooch forward 6 inches or so to get out around the B pillar. Duck my head. Left my heels HIGH then get out. And 2-3 MPG less than a REAR DRIVE Chrysler 300.

      I mean GM makes really bad vehicles. Real bad. Terrible.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        XT5 still didn’t fix The SRXs faults? Namely being fitting a human being? Ive had to sit in the backseat of the outgoing ~15 SRX. I had to make a choice between slouching or cocking my head sideways. I chose slouching, unfortunately I couldn’t do anything about the C pillar rubbing into my shoulder without sitting on the seat belt latch.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Also I’ve harped on the new Malibu enough times here as is, but it ranks as the worst vehicle I have ever driven in my life. The engine isn’t fit for 1980s GM, an iron Duke felt more powerful. Speaking of the iron Duke, I remember cars equipped with that lump getting high 20s to low 30s MPG. Which is quite better than the 21-23MPG I averaged on the horrid 1.5T Malibu. Ingress and exgress? Get a headache just thinking about the number of times I hit my head entering and exiting that car. I can’t believe a car like the Malibu even exists today, they say there are no horrible cars, they are severely wrong.

          I believe my SS sedan is the last GM vehicle I will ever buy, and it’s Aussie designed and built. I’m starting to worry if GM is capable of surviving Barra’s reign long enough to survive to provide parts for all my vehicles into the next decade.

          • 0 avatar

            I rented a Malibu and was somewhat impressed. For what I experienced it is 90% as good as the Camry. In fact I am looking for a second car and it maybe a 2017 demo Malibu(300mls) currently at my local dealer. I try to support the domestic industry and if GM can produce anything at least 90% as good as the Asian competition than I will give it a chance. The Malibu I drove for 250 miles had a ride quality comparable to a 20 year old Cadillac and acceleration slightly better than my current Ford Fusion. The performance of the Malibu is actually above average. Here are the statistics for the model I may purchase this week.

            0-60mph – 8.5 seconds

            Max Speed – 120mph.

            34mpg.

            Those numbers perfectly match the way I drive. The Malibu is actually one of GM’s better efforts. I am actually excited about having this car in my garage.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Did you test drive a 1.5 or 2.0, we live in two different worlds if you liked the 1.5T. It was a horrendous vehicle with no power, I wanted to run the POS into a ditch. Also if it is a 1.5 good luck getting sticker MPG, my fuel economy in the Malibu was equal to my fuel economy in my SS sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      dlfcohn

      It’s all about using North America as a cash cow to fund investment in China, the biggest auto market in the world. It is also a market that, unlike North America, is increasingly going electric. So the plan is to rake in as much cash for as little investment as possible in North America to fund the transformation of GM into the go to high tech electric vehicle provider for China. At some point, when those electric vehicles are in demand here, GM will be ready to provide them, just like the Japanese were ready in the 1970s and 1980s when North Americans demanded better fuel efficiency.

      • 0 avatar
        cognoscenti

        “At some point, when those electric vehicles are in demand here, GM will be ready to provide them, just like the Japanese were ready in the 1970s and 1980s when North Americans demanded better fuel efficiency.”

        This. Just look at how many electric and hybrid platforms that EVERY large carmaker is working on, considering the next industry downturn and/or inevitable gas price spike, within the context of time to market. Ford and FCA are actually in way worse shape than GM, strategically. Barra is crazy like a fox.

  • avatar
    Null Set

    This sounds like a typical middle-management purge, which is common across all industries. It’s something of a fetish. Higher level executives become addicted to the idea that middle management provides no added value, and can be cut back to a few hundred people (counting the janitorial staff) with nothing worse for wear. Now, middle management, like any level of employees, can be overstaffed and stuffed with people who have burrowed in like ticks for decades and ceased to learn or contribute anything twenty years ago. This also happens to be true of the C-suite.

    However, I personally have experienced the cost of devastating middle management. For many years I oversaw product integration at customer sites for our software products. Over and over again I encountered customers failing to integrate properly largely due to chaos in the internal effort itself. In every one of those cases I noticed a conspicuous absence of middle management. There were individual worker bees on the ground. Then a Sr. VP “overseeing” the effort, with no one in between to mediate between the two. The fact is that middle management is the layer that ensures, and is held accountable for, actually getting stuff done. And taking the blame when things fail. Something no Sr. VP is ever going to do, and something an individual contributor can’t either, since their scope of responsibility is so small.

    Again, I’m sure there’s plenty of kruff at GM. But cut too far and you will see even more chaos at GM than you do now.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      You’ve just described my company (different industry) to a T, Null Set. The best is when the man at the top came up from sales and doesn’t actually know the business. I’m not pissing on sales people in general or on chief executives who know sales AND something else. (E.g., Lee Iacocca, a seemingly quintessential sales guy, started out as an engineer.) But if your head honcho knows only sales or only bean counting, you’re company probably is screwed. Our operations are in disarray because our senior execs are clueless and because there just aren’t enough bodies at the middle level.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Well said Null Set. Middle management is often the scapegoat for all that goes wrong, yet the problem often stems from the top tier of management. But they are teflon coated.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Employees can no longer trust GM. Yes GM is applying the GE “magic”, see how well it turned out for GE in the long run. But the mismanagement is already evident, in GM’s product lineup. Buying on merit is equivalent to boycotting GM.

    By the way, with 75% of GM’s profit coming from North American sales, China won’t save them. China requires 51% minimum Chinese ownership for GM joint venture cars, so GM’s China sales are not all that.
    https://www.simplysafedividends.com/intelligent-income/posts/98-general-motors-company-gm

    “GM’s operating income comes from the following segments:

    North America: 75%
    International: 11%
    GM Finance: 11%
    South America: 3%”

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Normal attrition gets 10% a year. Add some VSPs, and there was no need for a layoff.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Very sad, but just like the laid off workers during the recent government shutdown, I’m sure these GM employees will all get their jobs back with backpay when the GM budget crisis gets solved.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Not a great move to fire thousands of experienced engineers when your products are far from world standard. GM needs to step up it’s product design and engineering prowess, and this cost cutting move will come back to haunt them and their customers. GM needs to overhaul it’s engineering department, not to downsize it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    You mean Michael Moore. “Mary and Me” the last remaining remnants of GM and their rebirth as a Chinese corporation. Zoom into the plants that closing and the local diner that are closing due to loss of customers. A nearby billboard proudly advertises the latest Buick made in China.

  • avatar

    They will get much better severance package than engineers in Silicon Valley (Tesla comes to my mind) where you will get couple of month of salary and few month of insurance. Been there so I know. And BTW if you are approaching 40 y.o. you better start worrying because are considered to be too old and stale and first to go during the next wave of layoffs which is unlike GM are every year.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt51

      Tesla severance was fairly generous, considering most employees don’t have that much time in. No question there is severe age discrimination. California is one of the better states to live in, if a decision is made to sue. Canning people before they hit forty allows companies to age discriminate without being sued.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If GM keeps on cutting and shrinking then at least they will not be too big to fail. If GM goes to another bankruptcy then it should be sold off to the Chinese.

  • avatar
    Vaporboy

    The GM contract staff went first, and no severance of any kind, so I find myself and I’m sure many others now on unemployment, slowly emptying out an IRA, and so far not a single interview. This, as an over 60 engineer basically treading water until something turns up, or reduced SS, and I’m lucky I’m not 50 in this boat. GM and its arrogant management will be gone before the ship sinks which it surely will. The biggest tragedy is the collateral damage left after they take their golden parachutes to whatever sunny clime they go to.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt51

      Just because you were contract does not necessarily mean you were not the victim of age discrimination. It may be worth talking to a lawyer. Very few older engineers get interviews once they are laid off. No matter how good you are, no matter how hard you work. Rather than use attrition GM chopped heads to get a (short term) pop in share price from Wall St. Which action boosts Mary Barra’s bonus. It is all about the bonus. The bonus is not everything; it is the only thing.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Amazing to think that the top brass does not value the skills/knowledge that only years of experience can bring. 50 and over? If you lose your job you are toast. Incredible. Yes the “digital natives” are typically the most savvy with the computer. But the computer, and those related skills are just tools. Knowing how and when to engage those tools does not come from inexperience.

        • 0 avatar

          I was laid off when I was 57 y.o. and it took me 9 month to find the new job – member of staff. It took about 20 F2F interviews before I was able to nail down the job and some companies where I had F2F interviews by team were top tech companies like Google (Chrome and Android OS teams), NVIDIA, Dell, Western Digital and so on, and some even were startups. So it was not that bad. It all depends on your attitude. If you behave like an old man then well, there is no chance to get hired unless you are world expert and even then.

  • avatar

    What is the point of all this? GM’s stock price is still pretty mediocre.

  • avatar

    If Barra is betting on electric cars it won’t end well. She is headed in the same direction as Roger Smith. Remember, all the accolades Smith got in the press until his career went into a tailspin. Didn’t a key executive leave GM this week? The writing is already on the wall.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Matt51 has it right it is not about GM’s long term viability it is about the bonus and the golden parachute. I have bought GM vehicles for the past 44 years along with other brands. I have liked the GM vehicles I bought but if GM disappeared tomorrow I would not shed a tear. GM’s strategy is cutting their way to profit which in the long run will not end good. Long term electric vehicles are the future but there are are many many years ahead for ICE. GM has been cutting their products, closing plants, and selling off divisions which was probably necessary but then you need to grow your remaining products. Many of GM’s new products are less than desirable. The 2019 Silverado is an example of flubbing a major product crucial to their bottom line. GM is starting to look like the late American Motors. Don’t see much hope for GM’s long term viability which will end either in a buyout or liquidation of GM and a golden parachute for the CEO and the board. Maybe that is what Mary Barra’s strategy is and the rest is all lies.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      Took my 21yr old son truck shopping 2 weeks ago, we looked at the 2WD Double Cab, Standard Bed 2019 Silverado LT with the 2.7L Turbo I4. The Chevy came out to $42,780. We also looked at the 2019 RAM 1500 REBEL CREW CAB, 5.7L Hemi, 4X4 with a 5’7″ BOX. The Ram came out to $46,780, gues which truck my son got. Hint Yeeee Haaaa.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        So for $4,000 more you get a real engine, 4 wheel drive, 4 full doors, off-road package, a better quality truck, made in America, and a much better looking truck.
        Didn’t sound like a tough decision.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          FWIW, a ’19 Silverado 4WD 5.3L Crew cab with All-Star and Z71 comes to $46,840. So I think in this case it is more a dealer inventory or salesmanship issue over GM failing to offer competition.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There’s some confusion, but “Double Cab” is just an extra cab, not a crew cab, in the fullsize class. Except the midsize Double Cab is a “Crew Cab” as we know it, or at least that’s what I understand.

            I’m sure it was the Aussies that first coined the term for their “midsize class” Crew Cabs, and it caught on for fullsizers too (in North America), referring to extra cabs, super cabs or extendo fullsize pickups.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    GM, which hasn’t made its existing salaried cuts public, responded to the report by stating, “We are not confirming timing. Our employees are our priority. We will communicate with them first.”

    The employees are their priority, and look how it is working out for them. Imagine how they treat their customers, who aren’t their priority.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    “Multinational corporation General Motors (GM) sought to import nearly 2,800 foreign workers in the last three years to take U.S. jobs while laying off American workers.”

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/02/01/gm-sought-outsource-laying-off-americans/

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    GM is like a patient with Stage IV cancer. The end is near whether they realize it or not.

    It appears that Kia and Hyundai are now making better cars than GM, and are ahead of GM in EV technology, which is no surprise since the east Asians have been leading in battery technology for decades.

  • avatar
    mikey

    When it came to dumb a$$ decisions ,the salary people had no more input than than the hourly.. I hope the eligible folks can grab a nice package. May the younger people land on their feet…God be with you.

  • avatar
    vook

    The writing has been on the wall for a long time for the facilities being closed. IMO, GM has always been controlled (more-or-less) by the bean counters, leading to less R&D spending and a less than stellar product for most of their models. Its no wonder their market share has eroded significantly.

    The increase in manufacturing in Mexico contradicts excess capacity claims (in US and Canada) and only confirms bottom line focus and greed. Don’t get me started about how GM (and Chrysler) stiffed the US and Canadian taxpayer by not paying back all of the bailout money they were given.

    Will never buy a GM product again, let alone one made in Mexico.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Not shocking with the amount of products being cut and the plants closing.

    My biggest beef: The Blazer. Overpriced and should have been given to one of the plants that is slated for closure/idle. I liked the looks but won’t ever buy one let alone rent one if it’s ever presented at a rental counter. Looks like FCA and Ford just got my business from now on.

    Second Biggest Beef: No CUV with the Volt and or Volt type power train.

    So where’s Norm to put a positive spin on this turd?

  • avatar
    mikey

    @SC5door … I have two beefs re-Blazer . Agreed, it should have been assembled in one of the plants slated for closure. ( preferably Oshawa, but I would be okay with one of the U.S. plants )

    My other beef …..Just another unibody SUV !!!! Why not the BOF Canyon platform ?

  • avatar
    tmvette454

    maybe it’s time to let GM go. They make maybe 3 vehicles worth looking at and none have competitive interiors. 10 years ago the government bailed them out and they got out from under bad contracts, eliminated dealers and they are still making cars I won’t even consider, except the corvette of course. The best thing would be to break it up and sell off Cadillac and Buick

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