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Trump Takes Swipes at GM, Barra about EV Strategy

President claims EV strategy is flawed.

by Michael Strong on Dec.13, 2018

GM CEO Barra and President Donald Trump during better days. Trump called Barra "nasty" during an interview on Fox News today.

President Donald Trump is like a dog with a bone when it comes to General Motors and CEO Mary Barra today again taking swipes at the company and its product strategy as well as Barra herself.

On an appearance on Fox News, Trump said the company’s focus on shifting to electric vehicles is poorly conceived and won’t work.

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“They’ve changed the whole model of General Motors. They’ve gone to all-electric. All-electric is not going to work … It’s wonderful to have it as a percentage of your cars, but going into this model that she’s doing I think is a mistake,” Trump said.  (more…)

Barra Completes Two-Day Tour, Sticks to GM’s Guns About Closings

Senators push CEO to change her mind — with no luck.

by Michael Strong on Dec.07, 2018

General Motors CEO Mary Barra said no changes would be made to the closures of five U.S. plants.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra completed two days of tense discussions with politicians in areas affected by the company’s recently announced plans to close five plants and displace thousands of workers.

Barra’s message was that these decisions were not made lightly and that the company would find jobs for many of the displaced workers, but ultimately they were made due to shifts in the buying habits of Americans.

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“We had really productive discussions, and I think they have a better understanding of what we’re doing and why, and how we’re making sure that we’re supporting the displaced workers, especially at the plants that are impacted, ” she said after meeting with Michigan politicians, the Detroit News reported.  (more…)

GM CEO’s “Open Mind” May Not Save Any of Five Plants Slated to Close

“We do have an overcapacity problem,” says Barra, after Capitol Hill meetings.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.06, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has been meeting with members of Congress, explaining why five plants are being closed.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra told members of Congress she will keep an “open mind” when it comes to plans to close five plants next year, including assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.

The closures were announced late last month, along with plans to trim about 15% of the automaker’s white-collar workforce, as it addresses a variety of problems, including the ongoing shift from passenger cars to light trucks. But Barra also stressed that the automaker faces “limitations” on what it can do because “we do have an overcapacity (issue) across the country.”

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The one-time “shop rat,” who began working at GM as a co-op student said she told Congressional representatives from Ohio and Maryland on Wednesday that “These were difficult decisions – decisions I take very personally,” while adding in a statement that GM wants to “minimize the impact on the (affected) communities” by, among other things, offering workers a chance to switch to other GM plants, where possible or by offering outplacement services. (more…)

GM Selling Off Hotel Property to Raise Cash, Get Lean

Moody's gives thumbs up to the plan.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.28, 2018

GM is looking to sell the hotel it owns in the Millender Center for $45 million.

In another step aimed at disposing of unneeded assets and raising cash, General Motors has confirmed it plans to sell off a hotel located directly across the street from its world headquarters in Detroit, which is now the midst of a real-estate boom.

The automaker said it intends to sell the 265-room Courtyard Marriott hotel that was built in 1985 as part of the mixed-use Millender Center complex on Jefferson Avenue and is linked to General Motors Riverfront headquarters in downtown Detroit by a covered footbridge.

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GM acquired the property years ago when Detroit was in the economic doldrums. However, downtown has undergone a major revival the past five years and the value of real estate has risen sharply, making it a propitious time to sell, GM said. (more…)

GM Share Price Falls 3% in Wake of Angry Trump Tweets

Worst trading day for company in almost a month.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.28, 2018

President Donald Trump said he told GM CEO Mary Barra that the country has been "very good" to the automaker.

After gaining ground on the announcement of a sweeping restructuring, the value of GM’s shares dropped by 3% or almost $1 per share, on the heels of an angry tweet from President Donald Trump in which he again attacked GM’s plans to close five plants and eliminate some 14,500 jobs at the company’s operations.

Overall, it was the worst day for GM shares in almost a month.

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In a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, GM also disclosed that GM’s board of directors approved the restructuring plan on Nov. 20, 2018, but held the news through the Thanksgiving Holiday. (more…)

Trump Threatens General Motors With Economic Sanctions

President suggests EV credit could be revoked.

by Michael Strong on Nov.27, 2018

President Donald Trump suggested he would search for ways to eliminate government subsidies to General Motors.

With the benefit of a good night’s sleep, President Donald Trump once again addressed General Motors’ plans to realign its manufacturing operations in the U.S. and Canada.

He took to Twitter this afternoon to reveal how he plans to deal with the situation.

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“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China,” he tweeted. (more…)

GM Will Drop at Least Six Passenger Cars in North American Shake-Up

But new electrified models -- and possibly more SUVs – on the way.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.27, 2018

The Buick LaCrosse is one of six models getting axed as GM's brands shift away from sedans and toward sport-utility vehicles.

At least six General Motors passenger car models will be dropped by the end of next year, part of a broad corporate realignment that will see the automaker also shut down three North American assembly plants, idling an estimated 5,600 workers.

The Monday morning announcement reflects the ongoing shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs in the U.S. market, though GM CEO Mary Barra also noted that the automaker wants to put more emphasis on the development of electrified and autonomous vehicles going forward.

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“We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success,” Barra said Monday. (more…)

Trump Chides GM for Plant Closures, New Congresswoman Blames Trump

President says he's pressuring GM to reverse course.

by Michael Strong on Nov.26, 2018

President Donald Trump said he told GM CEO Mary Barra that the country has been "very good" to the automaker.

Last year, President Donald Trump encouraged employees living near General Motors’ Lordstown plant and other long-shuttered plants to hang in there despite the fact there was no reason to believe the industries in the region were planning to add jobs.

“They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back,” he told a crowd at rally in July 2017. The raucous crowd roared its approval and he added, “Don’t move. Don’t sell your house.”

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Today he found out he was wrong — again. (more…)

GM Closing Five Plants, Cutting 15,000 Workers

Company plans to close more plants in the future.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.26, 2018

GM is closing three plants in the U.S. and Canada, including its Oshawa, Ontario facility as it transforms its manufacturing footprint.

General Motors, in a move likely to have a significant political impact, confirmed it is preparing to shut five plants in the U.S. and Canada as its restructures its operations across the globe.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra told analysts the company plans to halt production of vehicles, among the them the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and Impala, now built at plants in Detroit, Lordstown, Ohio, and Oshawa, Ontario. The company also plans to close two powertrain plants.

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None of the plants will have products allocated to them past the end of 2019, said Barra. As part of the unfolding restructuring of the company GM also plans to slash is salaried head count by 15% and cut its executive ranks by 25% and restructure its product development system, Barra said. (more…)

GM Looking at White Collar Layoffs Due to Low Buyout Acceptance

Company falling well short of hoped-for 7,000 early retirements.

by Michael Strong on Nov.20, 2018

General Motors is offering buyouts to thousands of employees as it seeks to streamline its North American operations.

We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way — so what’s going to be?

That was the question essentially posed to thousands of General Motors Co. white collar employees by the company’s management, looking for at least 7,000 to accept an early retirement buyout. The automaker is looking to trim salaried workers as a proactive cost cutting measure.

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Those selected to participate in the plan have until noon Monday to decide; however, early reports suggest the company is going to get a little over half of its target, which means that GM likely will be laying off people in the near future to get that number. (more…)