"To achieve what this company is truly capable of — and to win — we need to be even more agile and faster to market," GM CEO Mary Barra wrote in an email to employees last week addressing the buyouts and cost cuts. "We need to get ahead of headwinds, rather than let them happen to us."
The headwinds, Barra and Wall Street analysts note, already are swirling. GM's global sales are weakening, especially in China and the U.S., the company's remaining strongholds.
In her message, obtained by Automotive News, Barra detailed internal and external factors, such as trade policy and global economic conditions, that the company cannot control but must be prepared to address.
She said the company needs to increase free cash flow by cutting structural costs and nonessential investments, such as building renovations that were expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.