GM Buys Out 5K American Employees with ‘Massive Cost Cutting’ Scheme as Part of Move Toward Electric Vehicles

An employee installs components on a vehicle at the General Motors Co. Lansing Delta Towns
Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

General Motors is buying out 5,000 salaried employees in the United States as the automaker looks to cut billions in costs with its move toward electric vehicles (EVs) which require far fewer manufacturing workers.

This week, GM executives announced that 5,000 salaried employees took a buyout offer from the automaker — more than expected. The buyout is set to save GM about $1 billion. The larger cost savings goal, executives have said, is to cut about $2 billion.

One analyst has labeled the scheme a “massive cost-cutting” measure while Chris Douglas with the University of Michigan-Flint notes that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is “heavily subsidizing electric vehicle and battery production without anything to show for it.”

“If there was really a market demand for electric vehicles, these subsidies would not be needed,” Douglas told The Center Square, stating that he struggles “to see how the latest rounds of even more generous subsidies will result in large employment gains in the auto industry.”

While more than 6.5 million vehicles with internal combustion engines are registered in Michigan, only about 25,000 EVs are registered — suggesting low demand among American consumers.

At the same time, automaker executives view EVs as a boon to their bottom line as they admit the manufacturing and assembling process requires far fewer employees than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. While executives eye wider profit margins, auto industry employment could plummet as a result.

Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour, in 2020, warned of the destruction that such green energy policies may have on the auto industry and American auto workers:

The reason why the auto industry is embracing electric vehicles has nothing to do with the environment. It has everything to do with their bottom line, because guess what? It’s cheaper to make these vehicles for the automakers if you wipe out all of those components that create the internal combustion engine. The sticker price of these vehicles is not any cheaper for the consumers. In fact, it’s more expensive. It’s a cash cow for the auto industry [and] automakers, but not necessarily for the workers, not necessarily for American consumers who don’t like or don’t trust these vehicles. It’s not even good for the environment. [Emphasis added]

Mansour has also noted that the move toward electric has the possibility of eliminating 160,000 Michigan energy jobs and decimating the auto industry as well.

“Half the fixtures, half the work stations, half the welds, 20 percent less fasteners,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said of EVs last year. “We designed it, because it’s such a simple product, to radically change the manufacturability.”

The buyout comes a month after GM CEO Mary Barra, paid nearly $30 million in 2021, announced that 500 white-collar salaried employees in the U.S. would be laid off. Those layoffs occurred just a month after Barra claimed that no layoffs were planned.

Over the last few years, Barra has overseen numerous layoff announcements at GM, cutting 800 workers in Detroit, Michigan, and laying off about 1,600 workers in Lordstown, Ohio, in 2019.

In 1979, GM employed nearly 620,000 Americans — making the automaker the largest private employer in the nation at the time. Today, GM employs fewer than 60,000 Americans.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.