GM CEO Mary Barra was forced to shut USA plants: Bob Nardelli

BLOOMBERG

BLOOMBERG

Being in Mary Barra's shoes these days is not something most people would want to experience.

"I want to make sure that the workforce knows that there are limitations and we do have an overcapacity across the country", Barra said, urging workers at plants set to close to take seriously offers of GM jobs in other parts of the countries.

"I don't think Mary had a choice in her decision relative to closing some of these plants and the platforms", he said during an interview on "Countdown to the Closing Bell Thursday".

Asked if any more USA facilities were at risk of closing, Barra said GM "looked at what steps we needed to take to strengthen the company ..." Brown and Portman said they argued for producing a different product in Lordstown, such as one of the new lines of electric vehicles GM has announced it is rolling out. "That's where it belongs", said Sen.

Lawmakers were angered by the lack of notice before GM's job cut announcement last week and wanted assurances that GM would not be closing additional US plants.

Representative Brenda Lawrence, who represents Detroit, said lawmakers were putting GM was on notice about future production decisions, noting the company is making strong profits and got a massive taxpayer bailout a decade ago. Barra, who met with MI lawmakers on Thursday, was advised to utilize USA based GM plants for the production of new products before going to Mexico.

Nardelli said the retooling of GM's production back into some of the plant closures in MI and OH is a legitimate request by lawmakers.

She cast the decision to downsize as critical to keep GM competitive.

John Wise, a former GM engineer and now LOCI Chairman, said the automaker's cutbacks stems more from a cultural issue rather than a business or economic decision. She was also expected to meet with lawmakers from MI on Thursday, among other meetings.

GM's announcement has frustrated lawmakers of both parties, and produced outraged outbursts and demands from President Donald Trump. "And we're going to fill up those factories, or rip them down and build brand-new ones".

Trump also said new auto tariffs were being studied, asserting, without evidence, that they could prevent job cuts such as those planned by GM. GM says that since 2009 it has invested $22 billion in US facilities. The union has asked GM to rescind the decision and resolve the fate of the plants in talks for a new labor contract next year.

Latest News