In response to General Motors (GM)’s drastic austerity plan, US President Donald Trump has threatened the automaker with the removal of subsidies. His government is currently reviewing all government grants to GM, including those for electric cars, the Republican said.
Trump incensed about GM
GM announced on Monday that it would cut 15 percent of its jobs and close seven factories next year, including four in the US. This is a heavy setback for Trump’s carefully crafted image as the engine of the American economic miracle. He is committed to preserving industrial jobs in the United States. He was „very disappointed“ by the GM decision, he said, pointing out that although the group wanted to close plants in the states of Maryland, Michigan and Ohio, none in China and Mexico.
The US President recalled that after the financial crisis of 2008, GM was saved from being ousted by President Barack Obama’s government through a massive rescue program. „And this is the thanks we get!“. Before reporters, Trump said, „If a particular Chevrolet model does not sell, then just build a new one that sells better and keep going.“
Criticism of those affected
Criticism of Trump’s comments came immediately from the most affected state of Ohio. Democratic congressman Tim Ryan said Trump did not move a finger for GM’s workers. „Instead, they are now under the wheels of a corporation, the President has previously provided enormous tax relief.“
For observers, the decision of the car company for the US president is a bitter defeat – and a painful reality shock. Because many think that Trump himself is partly to blame. The US auto industry is groaning under the tariff dispute initiated by the US president with trading partners such as the EU or China. „The tariffs on the metals have taken us about a billion dollars profit,“ said Ford CEO Jim Hackett in late September.
More SUVs, less small cars
GM had justified the radical restructuring and savings plans with the „changing market conditions“ – but also „increased material costs“ led. In future, GM will focus on producing the most popular off-road SUVs and pickup trucks in the US. The group also wants to promote the development of self-driving vehicles and electric cars. The company wants to reduce the production of conventional small and medium-sized cars on the other hand.