General Motors has announced plans to halt automobile production at five North American factories and cut more than 14,000 jobs. The move comes as car buyers are showing a preference for larger vehicles and is seen as a step toward a future with more electric vehicles.

Arthur Wheaton is a professor of labor at Cornell University and an expert on the automotive sector. He says the decision is unsurprising, given a recent trend toward larger vehicles.


Wheaton says:

“GM’s decision to close five plants and lay off thousands of employees is sad news during the holidays. Unfortunately, similar steps were taken by Ford and Fiat/Chrysler earlier. The reductions are closely related to the changes caused by slow car sales and increased truck/SUV demand. Ford and Fiat Chrysler nearly eliminated all cars except muscle cars. GM is taking similar steps to move away from cars.

“These cuts are in the US and Canada. The trade wars have also increased costs and reduced demand across the globe.”

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