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A leaner General Motors plans future path

June 08, 2009 13:25 IST

Whether it's employees, plants or brands, General Motors will be boasting smaller numbers, as and when the iconic auto maker steers itself out of bankruptcy.

Aiming to bolster its sagging auto sales and ultimately getting into the black, General Motors is set to emerge leaner and cost-competitive through drastic restructuring, according to the firm's bankruptcy filing.

Even though the car maker is hopefully expected to be out of bankruptcy protection in the next few months, most of the restructuring plans span for next year and beyond.

A new General Motors, as widely described, would emerge with fewer employees -- over 20,000 hourly workers expected to go -- and a smaller number of brands.

For instance, the once mighty auto maker would be cutting as many as 21,000 hourly jobs by next year. Another 2,000 are anticipated to go by 2012. Further, the salaried employment is to be cut by over 5,000.

Pursuing the already announced plan of shedding more brands, General Motors would be just focusing on core brands in the US including the Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick. The entity has already stuck deals for sale of the Hummer and Saturn brands.

When it comes to manufacturing, the total number of facilities in assembly, power train and stamping in the US would be cut to 38 by the end of next year. In 2008, the same stood at 47.

According to the company, a new General Motors would be built from the strongest parts of its business, including best brands, and very finest products, and is planning to become an independent company in 60 to 90 days.

"The economic crisis has caused enormous disruption in the auto industry, but with it has come the opportunity for us to reinvent our business.

"We are going to do it once and do it right . . .  We are focused on the job at hand, for the benefit of our customers, employees, dealers, suppliers, retirees, taxpayers, investors and other stakeholders," GM president and chief executive officer Fritz Henderson had said.

The century-old General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection last Monday.

General Motors would reduce salaried employees in North America to 27,200 from 32,200 in 2009. It would bring down the hourly employment levels from "about 61,000 in 2008 to 40,000 in 2010, and level off at about 38,000 starting in 2012".

The car maker will reduce the total number of assembly, power train and stamping facilities in the US to 33 by 2012.

The New General Motors would have a number of key vehicle launches in 2009-10, including Chevrolet Camaro, moderately priced sport coupe, and the luxury mid size Cadillac SRX crossover and CTS Sport Wagon, and mid size crossovers -- Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.

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