President Trump said Monday he's pressuring the CEO of General Motors to open a new factory in OH quickly following the automaker's announcement of plant closings in the Midwest, a business decision that could complicate the president's re-election bid.
GM told the remaining workers at its sprawling plant in Lordstown on Monday that it is going to shut down all US production of the Chevy Cruze in March 2019.
GM plans to halt production next year at three assembly plants: the Lordstown small-car factory near Youngstown, Ohio; the Detroit-Hamtramck complex in Detroit; and the Oshawa, Ontario, assembly complex near Toronto. "Get a auto that is selling well and put it back in", Trump said.
General Motors will close its production plant in Oshawa, along with four facilities in the US, as part of a global reorganization that will see the company focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.
Republican Senator Rob Portman told GM chief executive Mary Barra on Monday that the company should bring a new product to the plant and he also urged GM "to at least reallocate some of the production and employees to the Toledo GM plant". The auto manufacturer says it plans to close five facilities in 2019, including assembly plants in OH and MI, and reduce its workforce by 15 percent. "This is their statement about the future - it may be completely wrong, but I don't think that politics has much to do with it", she said. "For decades, workers have devoted their lives, working day and night, to produce some of the finest cars in the country for General Motors".
GM opened the Lordstown plant in the late 1960s.
Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/NewscomSpeaking to a cheering crowd in Youngstown, Ohio, in July of previous year, President Donald Trump promised more jobs would soon be flowing to the blue-collar city. The plant is used to make the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans as well as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.
Tom Wolikow, a United Auto Workers activist who was among the earlier layoffs, says the timing of Monday's announcement was particularly brutal.
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So while things look bleak for Lordstown and Hamtramck, all hope is not lost, especially since GM CEO Mary Barra declined Monday to discuss whether or not the plants might reopen as part of the UAW negotiations. The company said it is aiming to save $6.5 billion in "cost efficiencies" through 2018.
Federal and provincial politicians also weighed in on the reported closure, expressing concern for the thousands of high-paying jobs at the Oshawa plant - as well as the potential trickle-down effect a closure could have.
GM will also close two additional plants outside of North America by next year. It was about 50% cars just five years ago. GM propulsion plants in White Marsh, Maryland and Warren, Michigan will also be shut.
The Auto Union is precisely one of GM's problems.
GM earlier on Monday announced the closure of seven of its factories around the world as part of a restructuring plan.
At the time of the transfer, Dias said Carlisle's appointment to lead Cadillac would raise his profile and influence within GM's headquarters in Detroit, and that "would be a huge benefit for us".
The four American plants employ a combined 3,800 hourly and salaried staff, and the Oshawa facility employs 2,900.
Ohio's incoming governor, Republican Mike DeWine, said he plans on meeting with GM officials and make a case for the plant after he takes office in January.