GM offers buyouts to 18K salaried workers in North America | AP business

GM Offers Buyouts to 18,000 Workers, Months After Warning About Layoffs Over Trump's Tariffs

General Motors offers employee buyouts

The company has hired 17,000 salaried and hourly workers in the past two years and spent $1 billion remaking its offices into modern workspaces.

General Motors is offering buyouts to more than a third of its white collar staff in the United States, as the company transitions to self-driving vehicles and other new technologies.

A notification was sent regarding the voluntary severance program to employees Wednesday morning, as the automaker reported a 25 percent increase in pretax profit in the third quarter and net income of $2.5 billion.

The company said it is making the move now to take advantage of the strong economy and its own healthy performance.

The strong profit from GM's China joint venture came even with a budding tariff war with the US and uncertainty over sales in the world's largest auto market.

The buyout is available to North American employees that have been with GM for at least 12 years. General Motors has about 50,000 workers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. As for anyone being laid off, company spokesman Patrick Morrissey wouldn't say if GM was trying to reach a target number of employees, nor would he say when GM would start layoffs if not enough workers came forward to accept the buyout.

Eligible employees - roughly 36 percent of its 50,000 North American salaried workforce - have until November 19 to make a decision regarding the program.

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That's about 18,000 salaried employees with 12 or more years at GM.

GM has long talked about reducing costs in preparation for an economic downturn.

GM confirmed in an email that it was offering a "voluntary severance program" to eligible salaried workers in the USA and Canada as part of a company-wide cost cutting initiative.

"We will evaluate the need to implement after we see the results of the voluntary program and other cost reduction efforts", he said.

Retired Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens hinted at white-collar cutbacks in April of 2017 when he told analysts that GM is looking for cuts as it simplifies its business after its exit from Europe.

The impact of the sales drop hit harder in China's interior, and demand remains strong in larger cities and for luxury vehicles, including GM's Cadillac models, Barra said on a conference call with analysts.

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