At the factories, around 3,300 blue-collar workers could lose jobs in Canada and another 2,600 in the US, but some USA workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production.
The restructuring reflects the changing United States and North American auto markets as manufacturers continue a dramatic shift away from cars toward SUVs and trucks.
As Michigan Radio reported, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called the news "troubling" and said that the union and local officials are "working together to come up with a solution that works for GM and the employees". The fall in new auto sales has troubled auto makers at a time when mainstays of the industry - private ownership and the internal combustion engine - are threatened by plans for shared vehicle schemes and electric cars.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he had expressed his "deep disappointment" to General Motors over its decision to shutter a Canadian automotive assembly plant. The Cruze compact auto will be discontinued in the US market in 2019.
"Get a vehicle that is selling well and put it back in", Trump said.
GM jumped as much as 7.9 percent to US$38.75, the highest since July, as of 12:20 p.m.in NY trading. Now, GM And Ford say that those onerous tariffs have cost them a combined $2 billion in financial losses that's crimping their business and forcing job cuts.
Those cuts are in addition to $6.5 billion that the company has announced by the end of this year.
The salaried workforce restructuring includes cutting 15 percent of its 54,000 salaried employees in North America, including slashing global executives by 25 percent.
"This industry is changing very rapidly", Barra said during a press briefing.
She said GM is still hiring people with expertise in software and electric and autonomous vehicles.
GM has offered buyouts to 18,000 retirement-eligible workers with a dozen or more years of service. But slow-selling sedans will take the cruelest cut, with several models to be killed outright in 2019: The Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS, now built at the Oshawa plant in Ontario.
The United Auto Workers, which represents USA workers, vowed to fight the cuts.
"The UAW and our members will confront this decision by GM through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership", the union said in a statement. The Cadillac CT6 and Buick LaCrosse in Hamtramck, along with the hatchback Volt.
Those workers were told this morning that production will end on March 1, and there was no mention of another product being made at the plant.
GM plans to halt production next year at three assembly plants: the Lordstown small-car factory near Youngstown, Ohio; the Detroit-Hamtramck complex in Detroit; and the Oshawa, Ontario, assembly complex near Toronto. Two powertrain sites and three other plants outside North America will also be affected.
It was expected that GM, which announced the overhaul Monday, needed to address underutilization of its plants.