DETROIT — Job cuts and buyouts to speed up attrition in General Motors' U.S. salaried work force are just the start of a crusade to eliminate $2 billion in expenses through the end of next year.
The belt tightening at the nation's largest automaker is not happening at a time of financial stress, as in the lead-up to the Great Recession and GM's bankruptcy, but following a year of record pretax earnings in 2022 that handed hourly workers their highest-ever profit-sharing payouts. GM executives have said they are focused on preserving margins and managing overhead as the company scales up its development and production of electric vehicles.
CEO Mary Barra cited that need earlier this week in rolling out a "voluntary separation program" to entice some employees to leave early. That came shortly after GM made a "small" but undisclosed number of job cuts it said were performance-related.
GM is not alone in reducing costs and head count. Executives at Ford Motor Co. have said they now aim to cut a "considerable amount more than" the $3 billion in costs initially targeted for elimination by 2026. Ford eliminated 3,000 jobs globally last year and is planning more job cuts in Europe as it makes its own transition to EVs.