UPDATE — Nov. 26, 4:11 p.m.: This story has been updated to include a statement to TheBlaze from General Motors, and a response from President Trump.
General Motors announced Monday that it is set to lay off roughly 14,700 workers, a number which represents 15 percent of all its salaried employees.
What are the details?
GM plans to lay off about 6,000 factory workers. These include workers at assembly facilities in Detroit; Warren, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; as well as at propulsion plants in White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan.
GM will also close two additional plants outside of North America by next year. GM currently employs roughly 54,000 workers in North America.
In a statement, GM said:
The company is transforming its global workforce to ensure it has the right skill sets for today and the future, while driving efficiencies through the utilization of best-in-class tools. Actions are being taken to reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 percent, which includes 25 percent fewer executives to streamline decision making.
GM's news release focused on the financial savings to the company that it predicts will come through these layoffs. The company estimates that the cuts will save it $6 billion 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 said in an official statement. “We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”
Barra also told reporters that many of those who will be laid off work on manufacturing cars with internal combustion engines, and that the company will continue to hire people to work on electric and autonomous vehicles.
In 2017, GM had announced that it planned to eventually phase out all gas powered cars and bring about “an all-electric future.”
While the full impact of U.S. tariff policy on GM has yet to be seen, a spokeswoman for the company told TheBlaze that when it comes to the layoffs, “[t]hese decisions are being made as part of our ongoing transformation and are not related to recent trade or tariff decisions.”
In July GM had predicted that a combination of these tariffs and the state of the national currencies of Brazil and Argentina would result in it losing approximately $1 billion in 2018. In addition to retaliatory tariffs by nations like China on the import of U.S. made automobiles, Trump's tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum to the U.S. have raised the cost of raw materials.
President Donald Trump reacted to the announcement from GM, saying that he was “not happy” about the decision. “I believe that they'll be opening up something else,” he told reporters. “I spoke with her [Barra] when I heard they were closing, and I said 'you know, this country's done a lot for general motors. You better get back in there soon.'” He also said that there was a lot of pressure on GM from senators and “a lot of other people.”