This week, General Motors reported net income of $2 billions for the fourth quarter of 2018. Strong sales of crossovers and pickups helped offset restructuring costs and losses overseas. It comes as the company began the process of laying off more than 4,000 workers.
CGTN’s Dan Williams has more from the Chicago Auto Show.
What the Chicago Auto Show possibly lacks in prestige, it more than makes up in size. The largest auto show in North America, it has become a key launchpad for companies to show off their latest vehicles. Chevrolet, a division of General Motors, recently launched their new Silverado. It comes as GM continues a major restructuring program.
Despite announcing net profits last year of $8.1 billion, the company began the process of laying off more than four thousand workers. Five plants in North America and Canada are set to close. The company maintains, it’s the right decision to take.
“We are really putting ourselves into a position to succeed. Not just for the next two, three or five years but for the next 50-100 years. We are very proud of the legacy of our company, but in order to be successful in the future, we have to respond to market conditions.” Said Steve Majoros, Marketing Director of Chevrolet Cars.
GM hopes that the restructuring process will boost profit margins prepare the company for a downturn and allow GM to invest more in electric and autonomous vehicles. But it remains a tough pill for workers to swallow given the company’s strong economic rebound.
Ford is also undergoing an $11 billion restructuring, recently announcing plans to lay-off thousands of workers in Europe. But in contrast to GM, the company announced here that they would invest $1 billion into their Chicago plant. The move adds 500 jobs and brings the total number of employees in the city to 5,800.
“Our commitment to U.S. manufacturing has never been stronger. The leading producer of vehicles in America. We employ more hourly workers in manufacturing on the automotive side than anybody in America,” Ford’s President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs said. “We are one of the leading exporters of automobiles out of the U.S. and that’s why we continue to be so focused on making sure the American manufacturing environment is competitive.”
For Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, the news is a further boost to the area. And comes as neighboring Michigan struggles with the job losses in the sector at GM.
“Look, why does a company make a decision, you are right, they can look at any facility. They’ve got a tremendous work ethic and workforce. They got a city willing to invest to make sure that if they have to move a product efficiently, they can do it. And then, we purchased 2,100 cars. What it says is that they have a great partnership.”
The auto industry as a whole is preparing for significant change as the move towards electric vehicles accelerates.
Ford and GM hope their restructuring will allow them the chance to ‘build’ towards more success in an ever competitive market.