GM to shut down 5 North American plants amid strategic transformation

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Logo of General Motors Corp. (GM) [Photo / Xinhua]

General Motors will cease production in five North American plants next year to accelerate its transformation strategy, the leading U.S. automaker announced on Monday.

Assembly and supporting propulsion plants which would be "unallocated" by the end of 2019 include Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit; Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio; Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland; Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan; and Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

"GM is continuing to take proactive steps to improve overall business performance including the reorganization of its global product development staffs, the realignment of its manufacturing capacity and a reduction of salaried workforce," General Motors said in a statement.

These actions are expected to increase annual adjusted automotive free cash flow by 6 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2020.

"The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future," GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra was quoted as saying.

In the past four years, GM has refocused capital and resources to support the growth of its crossovers, SUVs and trucks.

According to Barra, GM's cost-cutting effort will lead to more investments in autonomous and electric vehicles.

Thousands of affected workers in the United States will have the opportunity to be transferred to GM's other plants. Other choices include buyout or layoff.

In addition to the previously announced closure of an assembly plant in Gunsan, South Korea, GM will also cease the operations of two unnamed plants outside North America by the end of 2019, said the automaker. 

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