"It's obviously an extremely tough day for us but it is nevertheless important and exciting to be in a company that wants to lead in electric and autonomous and, like many industries that are transforming, if you don't take bold steps you risk a much bigger dislocation", Paterson said. The company is reinvesting money away from cars that once dominated America's roadways and putting it into technology it believes will power its future.
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the company is aiming to cut executive positions by 25 percent, as part of its overall push to cut it workforce.
Its North American salaried workforce, including engineers and executives, will shrink by 15 percent, or about 8,000 jobs.
Also consider GM to Idle Factories, Cut Thousands of North American Jobs. GM expects to spend $1 billion on Cruise this year to build the next generation of cars. GM said the cuts will boost automotive free cash flow by US$6 billion by the end of 2020 and result in one-time charges of up to US$3.8 billion in the fourth quarter of this year and first quarter of 2019.
While still the economic powerhouse of the city of about 160,000 people 60 kilometres east of Toronto, the GM operations in Oshawa are only a small remnant of the 40,000-worker monolith that once dominated the area's economy. Sales of the compact vehicle were down 27 percent through September, GM said. "I urged GM to at least reallocate some of the production and employees to the Toledo GM plant", he said in the statement.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government will do what it can to help laid-off GM workers in Oshawa "get back on their feet", while federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said Ottawa stands ready to assist those workers any way it can.
In announcing the changes, GM officials said they were part of a corporate transformation that began in 2015. That figure was about 50 percent cars just five years ago.
Governor Kasich says he is seeing if there is any way to preserve the Lordstown plant and his office is going to do everything it can to help affected families have access to new opportunities.
Unifor says discussions with GM are scheduled to take place Monday. But the automaking leader of the future may not be GM or one of its traditional rivals.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shift also affects GM operations in other countries, and the Oshawa facility is the only Canadian plant that will be shuttered. The facilities made some trucks, but those trucks are also made at in Mexico. It makes no sense to keep producing some vehicle models at a loss.
General Motors was down 9% this year.
As recently as 2012, passenger cars made up more than 50 percent of all United States new vehicle sales.
Unifor, the union representing more than 2,500 workers at the plant, said it has been informed that there is no product allocated to the Oshawa plant past December 2019.
GM's unions aren't happy.
OH lawmakers urged GM to reconsider.
The decision is "devastating" for workers at the plant and auto suppliers, but Oshawa has adapted over the years and will survive this as well, DesRosiers added.