General Motors to Lay Off 1,300 Workers, Shake Up Leadership in Cruise

General Motors (NYSE: GM) is set to lay off approximately 1,300 workers from its Orion Assembly and Lansing Grand River Assembly plants in Michigan, according to the WARN notices filed with state regulators. The largest chunk of job cuts, affecting 945 employees, comes from the Orion plant, responsible for building the electric vehicle (EV) Chevrolet Bolt models, which are slated to end production after this year.

The decision to delay the production of electric pickup trucks until 2025, announced in October, is cited as the primary reason behind these layoffs. The Orion plant, previously producing the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV crossover, was expected to transition to manufacturing the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. However, the delay has left the plant idle, affecting the fate of numerous workers.

Responding to the layoffs, GM assured in a statement, “GM anticipates having job opportunities for all impacted team members per the provisions of the UAW-GM National Agreement.” The Lansing Grand River Assembly will continue producing the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 models.

This move by GM reflects the broader challenges facing the electric vehicle market, with discounts on EVs increasing as they remain unsold for longer periods than traditional gas vehicles. The layoffs echo the industry trend, as other automakers, including Ford, have also announced workforce reductions in their electric vehicle divisions.

Meanwhile, GM’s autonomous vehicle unit, Cruise LLC, is undergoing a significant restructuring following regulatory challenges and a high-profile incident. Nine top executives, including COO Gil West, have been ousted amidst concerns about regulatory trust. This follows an incident where a self-driving car dragged a pedestrian, with allegations of withholding crucial video evidence.

Cruise, grappling with a loss of over $700 million in the third quarter and more than $8 billion since 2016, has announced a 24% reduction in its workforce. The restructuring comes after the unit’s CEO Kyle Vogt and co-founder Dan Kan resigned last month.

READ: Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt Walks Away from the Robotaxi Company He Founded

The company mentioned, “This reflects our new future and a more deliberate go-to-market path, meaning less immediate need for field, commercial operations and corporate staffing.”

Despite the challenges, GM shares rose 6.7% on Thursday, signaling investor confidence. The company emphasized its support for Cruise’s restructuring efforts, stating, “GM supports the difficult employment decisions made by Cruise as it reflects their more deliberate path forward, with safety as the north star.”

As Cruise navigates these changes, the nascent driverless car industry’s reliance on public trust and regulatory cooperation remains under scrutiny. The external investigation into the October incident, led by law firm Quinn Emmanuel, and ongoing inquiries by regulatory bodies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, further underscore the challenges facing autonomous vehicle technology.

In November, Cruise outlined plans to re-launch in an unspecified city, signaling a more cautious approach compared to its earlier ambitions of expanding to multiple cities with fully autonomous taxi rides.

Information for this briefing was found via CNN, Reuters, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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