Trump asks GM CEO to stop making cars in China, open facility in Ohio

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 27 Nov 2018

General Motors is among the latest American company to bear the dismay of president Donald Trump, after it announced its plans to end production in the country and reduce workforce according to The Wall Street Journal.

The report says the move would impact around 14,800 jobs in the U.S. and Canada and end production at several North American factories, marking the auto maker’s first significant downsizing since its bankruptcy last decade as the company tries to adjust to weak sedan sales.

The moves — affecting plants in Michigan, Ohio and Canada — would reduce GM’s annual costs by $4.5 billion (Rs 31,914 crore) by the end of 2020, freeing up money to invest in electric and self-driving vehicles. The decision, though, was called “callous” by the main auto workers union and prompted US president Trump and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau to each call Mary Barra, chief executive of General Motors to express their disappointment.

Barra said she wants to act now, despite a strong economy and the company’s healthy earnings, to help GM sustain profits through an expected downturn in the American car market and keep investing in new technologies. “This is what we’re doing to transform the company. The industry is changing very rapidly. We think it’s appropriate to get in front of it while the business and the economy are strong,” said Barra.

On Monday, Trump said he told Barra that she should stop making cars in China and open a new plant in Ohio to replace the one that is ending production.

“They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly,” Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, noting that he talked to Barra a day before.

“I love Ohio. 'I told them, ‘You’re playing around with the wrong person',” WSJ quoted Trump.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Also read: General Motors to close seven factories, axe 15% of workforce

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