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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.