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GM Could Cut More White-Collar Jobs

Maker wants to match margins of rivals like Ford, Hyundai.

by on Dec.29, 2011

GM's goal of boosting margins could mean significant white-collar job cuts.

Like a late-to-the-party Grinch, General Motors could sap some of the holiday cheer from its white-collar workforce.  Frustrated that it isn’t generating the sort of profit margins seen at some of its key competitors, GM is looking at ways to boost its efficiency – which could mean more cuts in its salaried staff.

That’s one of the possibilities under study by the Miami-based management consulting firm Hackett Group, which GM has hired to explore its options, reports the Bloomberg News Service.

For the first three quarters of 2011, GM delivered a 5% operating margin, compared with 6.7% at Ford Motor Co., 7.7% at Volkswagen and 10% for Hyundai.  As part of his Power 88 Plan, announced earlier this year, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared a goal of boosting the Japanese maker’s margins to 8% — along with an 8% global market share target.

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A GM official would not provide details of GM’s strategy to boost margins, nor even confirm Hackett’s hiring but did acknowledge to Bloomberg’s Dave Welch that under CEO Dan Akerson, “We are streamlining our business, looking for efficiencies,” adding “there will be some headcount reductions” on a global basis.


GM Offering New Round Of Buy-Outs

First since ’09, follows new hirings.

by on Dec.15, 2010

GM may be hiring at some plants - the Chevy Volt line shown here - but it is about to begin a new round of buyouts elsewhere.

General Motors is offering buyouts to approximately 2,000 skilled tradesmen from 14 plants that have closed during the company’s restructuring.

The automaker will pay eligible workers $60,000 to retire with full benefits. Younger workers will have the option to take the $60,000 in exchange for giving up retiree health care and other benefits.

However, many of the skilled tradesman have taken work in auto plants after enduring the ups and downs in the boom and bust of the construction industry. They have already passed up several earlier buyouts and the number of employees interested in accepting the package is uncertain.  But GM is apparently counting on the pressure of impending contract changes that could reduce eligibility for supplemental unemployment benefits.

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The UAW agreed to eliminate the so-called Jobs Bank last year when the company went through bankruptcy. That program essentially provided a check for those idled by a plant closure or other cutbacks until appropriate new work could be found.

If more workers do accept the offer, however, the buyout could add to GM’s unfunded pension liabilities, which GM CEO Dan Akerson recently pegged at $10 billion dollars.


Ray Young: Another GM Casualty?

CFO could be next to go as maker pairs exec ranks.

by on Sep.09, 2009

Will GM's 47-year-old CFO Ray Young be the next to go in a top management shake-up?

Will GM's 47-year-old CFO Ray Young be the next to go in a top management shake-up?

The downsizing of General Motors’ executive ranks continues, with numerous sources suggesting that the automaker’s Chief Financial Officer Ray Young will be among the next to go, as part of a shake-up in the corporate finance department.

Rumors have been circulating ever since the carmaker plunged into bankruptcy, earlier this year.  Adding fuel to that fire, GM CEO Fritz Henderson’s announcement on July 10th, the day the company emerged from Chapter 11, that a third of all senior executives would be let go by the end of October.

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So far, a wide range of once-prominent GM bosses have been packing up their corner offices, including Troy Clarke, formerly president of GM North America, while others, such as Gary Cowger, head of manufacturing, plans to retire by year’s end.  So, few insiders would be surprised to see Young join them on the way out of GM’s  Renaissance Center headquarters.