Shifting Chevy Blazer Production From Mexico To Ohio “Very Costly,” Says GM CEO

Being in Mary Barra’s shoes these days is not something most people would want to experience. Still, it’s way better than being one of approximately 14,000 GM workers about to be laid off.

A week after announcing huge job cuts and factory closures that enraged U.S. President Donald Trump, GM’s CEO met members of Congress from Ohio and Maryland on December 5.

While the executive described those meetings on Capitol Hill as “very constructive,” GM’s plans to streamline its operations in North America look set to go forward.

“I share their concerns about the impact the actions we announced last week will have on our employees, their families, and the communities,” Mary Barra said in a statement. “These were very difficult decisions — decisions I take very personally,” she added.

Nevertheless, Barra had some slightly encouraging things to say to employees of the GM plants that will become idle in 2019. “I informed the members that many hourly employees at the impacted U.S. plants will have the opportunity to work at other U.S. GM plants and that we are committed to working with them to minimize the impact on the communities,” the executive said.

However, she didn’t say towards which plants the workers could migrate. As for salaried workers impacted by the restructuring, Barra said they “are being offered outplacement services to help them transition to new jobs.”

These rather vague promises didn’t convince members of Congress, especially Ohio senators and other lawmakers. They want GM to shift production of the 2019 Chevy Blazer from Mexico to Lordstown Assembly or start building EVs there.

However, in a brief interview with Reuters after the meetings in Washington, Barra said it would be “very costly” to shift Blazer production from Mexico. While the executive vowed to keep an “open mind” about the future of the Ohio plant, she stressed GM has excess capacity across the United States.

GM’s CEO is expected to meet members of the Congress from Michigan on December 6.

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  • ME

    Barra’s pay check is very costly too. Maybe she can give up some of her millions to help out other people.

    • tkindred

      Apparently they believe she brings more than that in value to the company so the reward her with that.

      • MarketAndChurch

        Shes gotten a lot of rewards for being a woman. GM wants to retain that prestige.

      • ME

        I bring plenty of value to my job, don’t get her crazy pay check.

      • NCC 1701-C Dodge Stealth R/T

        The catch is the board members are usually other CEOs, and they help themselves to ridiculous salaries, bonuses, and “compensation”. That should be illegal. How many other boards is she on?

  • Six_Tymes

    It wouldn’t BE COSTLY IF THEY SETUP IN OHIO IN THE FIRST PLACE. Someone PLEASE REPLACE HER ASAP.

    • no25

      woah thought you were that all-cap talking MICHGO freak for a second.

    • Matteo Tommasi

      Think about how much they pay a mexican and an american. This is the difference.

      • NCC 1701-C Dodge Stealth R/T

        Close that border, permanentley! North Korea style.

  • MayTheBestCarWin05

    Some politicians cry about the free market deciding things like this….but then they get mad when GM says it doesn’t make sense to build cars there bc the MARKET has decided those cars aren’t providing the necessary return.

    Sure it sucks big time for those impacted but this is a fact of manufacturing. A product you build might no sell anymore and you’re out of a job.

  • nastinupe

    This is what happens when unions drive up the cost of doing business. I’m not anti-union, however, the reality is that when companies are forced to bend to their demands, it affects future projections and therefore companies are less likely to keep plants in the US or plan additional plants in the US.

    • BlackPegasus

      Nice try, but Onions are only given what is agreed to by the company it negotiates with. Don’t blame this on organized labor. This is about corporate greed and and their share holders.

      • nastinupe

        I guess you’re right… if corporate greed means that you make financially sound decisions to ensure a company’s future. The decisions made now may spur growth in the future to where the company can hire 20,000 people in 3 – 5 years.

        Did you not read about all of the models that GM is discontinuing next year? It was like 12 models across all of the different brands. They had to close some factories. It was inevitable.

  • AnEmptyStreet

    Just a reminder that Mary Barra has a 22 million dollar a year salary. Maybe she’s the one that’s very costly.

    • ME

      I said that over an hour ago.

    • diesel_vdub

      A very large portion of her compensation is performance based. Her base salary is around $2 million, the other $20 million is related to her and GMs performance. Though I definitely agree that the entire executive team at GM could stand to have their compensation reduced in an effort to save some jobs or just reduce costs for the company.

      • Finkployd

        Maybe they should relocate only management to Mexico 😉

        • NCC 1701-C Dodge Stealth R/T

          Give them 5 dollars an hour.

    • Chris Krajnik

      Just a reminder that $22 million is only 2.2% of a billion, which is what GM and Ford each lost due to tariffs. CEO pay, while extremely high, are drops in the bucket compared to other market pressures the automakers face today

  • Shane

    How much did Mexico give for the bailout? How many Mexicans will be buying this compared to Americans?

    • Jorge Salazar

      they gave it all up front 2 to 5 per hour….compared to 30 to 45 per hour for usa employee
      Mexican labor fed the unions for many years….kept plants open…union never said ok im umemployed they wanted compensation for losing their jobs…$$$ for inferior product
      you cannot simply build in the usa at high labor while the Asians/euro are paying half the wages at their American plants
      mexico prices subsidized the high lobor cost of usa labor

  • GREED.

    • (⌐■_■)

      you wouldn’t pay $10 for a cookie when you can pay $1, would you?

      • LAME EXCUSE.

      • Bash

        Exactly

      • Stigasawuswrecks

        I had to go to the a plant in Mexico. I couldn’t believe the engineers there were earning the equivalent of $5 an hour. Granted the prices for things down there were cheap but still. It makes a lot of sense business wise and that’s why so many companies are moving business overseas.

        • Jorge Salazar

          what is cheap…rent maybe…. food, clothing, cars, electricity, gas is the same or more than in the usa….mcdonalds is not cheap in mexico, home depot, Kentucky…premium

      • Jorge Salazar

        1 dollar cookie from china or 2 dollar cookie from mexico or 10 locally made cookie in usa
        cookie from china…who knows what is in it….might be toxic
        mexico—same as usa cookie except the baker cant afford to buy one
        usa cookie good cookie, locally made, baker has great career if people decide to spend 10 on it
        cookie from mexico keeps people working and in their own country and no migration and business selling it still charging premium on it …6 to 8 per cookie

    • Galaxium

      It is not corporate greed.

      GM cannot see a feasible ROI on its certain models when built in the US. You have to realize that with auto-unions are at play here along with competitive manufacturing elsewhere.

      This also has to do with the fact that GM got burned extremely badly in the last recession and they’re taking steps ahead so that way the next recession to hit (probably around 2019/2020) won’t be too damaging.

      • danno

        Galax… How many hours of assembly labour go into each car built?
        What is the all in $/hr cost for Mexican labour?
        What is the all in $/hr cost for US worker?
        The $ difference per vehicle for labour is?

        • Jorge Salazar

          Mexican labor is the only one that can compete with china like at 2d. hr. shipping is what keeps mexico competitive with china
          us worker 15 to 25 union…. less for the jap-euro…-non union
          some of the savings of building cars in mexico pay for building cars in the usa…
          ram truck built in mexico at us customs is 10 to 15 gran…retail 50 to 70gran

  • Paul

    They should have figured this was coming and the flak they would get.

  • MarketAndChurch

    GM should enter into alliances like Ford to cut costs. Toyota or Nissan-Renault would put them at the top of the automotive industry and allow them to compete again in Europe.

    • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

      In Europe they will struggle to sell alot of cars, 10-15000 cars pr year maybe in europe,if they will sell more cars in europe they need cars with Hybrid, PHEV and EVs not v6 and v8 engines.

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    We all knew this was coming. Everyone has been complaining about GM products for years. The conglomerate is and has been broken for decades and the bailout simply bought them time to reorganize to either focus on being competitive or to get pushed out of the market.

  • Galaxium

    Some of you guys need to calm down and look at this rationally

    We’ve known that GM hasn’t been competitive for the longest time. They cannot produce at lower cost as other manufacturers. With the next recession coming soon, they have to trim the fat as soon as possible.

    Also with the comments on Barra’s pay, please stop

    The job of being a CEO is incredibly complex and difficult. It is not some desk job that most of you guys work. It is the constant managing of financials, supply chain, manufacturing, etc. all at the same time. Cutting her pay (which will likely happen b/c performance-based around recession iirc) is not going to help anything or anyone.

  • charlotteharry57

    Go ahead, GM. Do it. A super ugly CUV with marginal build quality. It’ll be a top seller.

    • Jorge Salazar

      the profit from that slow selling suv … built in mexico will go to keep high union labor plant open selling unprofitable lg. suv

  • Ilbirs

    For now the Blazer being built in Mexico eases not only being sold in NA but also in Brazil and Argentina, two countries with which Mexico has trade agreements. For now there’s no prevision of this model to be sold in these nations, but being built in Ramos Arizpe eases the task, specially considering that its overall proposal that fits well all these countries’ context.

    • Jorge Salazar

      they should build the the cars and small suv’s in mexico and the bigger vehicles with better margins in the usa

      ford should sent fusion focus production to mexico and build suv’s in the us plants

  • Jorge Salazar

    that is the problem union plants get paid more than Toyota or other non union plants. if gm or ford could lower the cost of labor then they could compete better….that has always been the issue…. unions want tooo much to make ford/gm competitive against china or Mexico…that is why they should make lower profit margin vehicles in mexico. and last union employees don’t get fired they get compensated very well before laid off with benefits

  • Jorge Salazar

    feed the hungry union…that keeps quality down….same for ford and fca

  • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

    Mary Barra should move to Mexico.

  • Perry F. Bruns

    U.S. made cars give work to American-owned robots built overseas.

  • emjayay

    About all the complaints about her pay: it’s a US problem. Not just the CEO but other top management. In other comparable countries the differential between a CEO and average employee is similar to what it was in the US 50 years ago. Over the years many factors, including slashing income taxes on upper incomes starting with Reagan, have meant absurd CEO pay. Your health insurance company CEO probably makes as much. The local hospital CEO makes multi millions a year. It’s not just GM by any means.

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