General Motors Co. said it will cut more than 10,000 salaried staff and factory workers and close five factories in North America by the end of next year, part of a sweeping realignment to prepare for a future with a greater number of purely electric vehicles.
Four factories in the U.S. and one in Canada could be shuttered 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 Monday. Along with two other closures outside North America, the company is jettisoning some of its slower-selling sedans. The Detroit-based company’s shares surged.
The cuts come on the heels of surprisingly strong third-quarter earnings. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra is trying to make the company leaner as U.S. auto demand slides from a record in 2016 and sales in China — GM’s other profit center — are also in a slump. Barra is also shifting resources toward building electric cars and, eventually, vehicles that drive themselves.
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