United States president Donald Trump blasted General Motors (GM) for making plans to close seven production plants, including four in the USA, and demanded that the firm find a vehicle that sells in sufficient quantities to be able to increase the company's activities in OH, a key U.S. election battleground.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from OH, said he's "deeply frustrated" with GM's decision to shut down a plant in Lordstown and is pressing Barra to come up with an alternative product for the factory. "We are going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and others and whether they should apply or not". Trump tweeted, noting that GM facilities in both China and Mexico appeared to escape unscathed.
As unmistakable as the coming future is, it's still a relatively long way off for an industry that still manages to sell more than 19 million vehicles in North America each year.
On Monday, President Trump said his administration and lawmakers are exerting "a lot of pressure" on GM.
Four factories in the USA and one in Canada could be closed by the end of 2019 if the automaker and its unions don't come up with an agreement to allocate more work to those facilities, GM said in a statement earlier Monday. Five plants are also in jeopardy of closing.
As recently as 2012, passenger cars made up more than 50 percent of all USA new vehicle sales.
GM will stop production at the following three plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario. Also affected are transmission factories in Warren, Michigan, as well as Baltimore.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he told Barra about his "deep disappointment" in the decision, according to reports.
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Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, says the job cuts are in order to invest in future technologies. GM is ending production of six vehicles, including the Volt, as it cuts more than 6500 factory jobs.
The affected plants include three vehicle factories-one in Lordstown, Ohio, one in Detroit, Mich. and the other in Oshawa, Ontario-and two transmission factories in Baltimore and Warren, Mich. Barra is "pushing GM into the 21st century", one analyst said. He did not specify how much GM receives in federal subsidies.
"The president is very cross with her and of course I transmitted that", National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow told reporters on Tuesday. The statement continued, "Many of the USA workers impacted by these actions will have the opportunity to shift to other GM plants where we will need more employees to support growth in trucks, crossovers and SUVs". Some 75 percent of its global sales will come from just five vehicle architectures by the early 2020s.
Today GM let Northeast Ohio down.
Like Trump, Sen. Chris Van Hollen said in a statement that he was "deeply disappointed and frustrated" with the company.
"It's very understandable, given all the hype associated with the trade agreement, and, you might say, the troubled relationship between your prime minister and our president, that it's some sort of reaction to the tariffs on steel and aluminum", said MI business professor Marick Masters.
Overall GM said the shake-up would lead to cost savings of around £4.7 billion by 2020. I say, well then get a auto that is selling well and put it back in. GM has several plants running well below that. "We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including".