Motor Mouths

General Motors announces plant closings; Trump weighs in

The president voiced disapproval at plant closings earlier this week, specifically targeting General Motors for three planned shutdowns in Ohio, Michigan, and Maryland.

Clouded, perhaps, by the ensuing public and political upheaval, the debate proves noteworthy for the fact that electric vehicles were raised as a bargaining chip.

“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China,” the commander in chief said on Twitter over the weekend. “The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all subsidies, including……..for electric cars. General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) – don’t think that bet is going to pay off. I am here to protect America’s Workers!”

General Motors recently joined the ranks of American car manufacturers looking to capitalize on the expected electric car boom of the next decade.

“G.M. would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland. Get smart Congress. Also, the countries that send us cars have taken advantage of the U.S. for decades. The President has great power on this issue – Because of the G.M. event, it is being studied now!” the president continued on Wednesday afternoon via Twitter.

The company also announced Monday that it plans to shut down a 65-year running plant in Oshawa, Ontario that employs over 2,000. Unifor, the union representing autoworkers, said it’s been told there is no car production assigned to the factory beyond next year, raising the prospect of talks to preserve jobs.

“We have been informed that, as of now, there is no product allocated to the Oshawa assembly plant past December 2019,” Unifor said in a written statement Sunday night. “Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit” of a contract agreement reached in 2016, the union said.

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