Trump tells GM to 'bring jobs home' after OH plant closing

Jermaine Castillo
March 19, 2019

President Donald Trump has resumed his criticism of General Motors, its CEO Mary Barra, and a local labor leader in OH for not yet reopening a massive plant in the key swing state where he had vowed that jobs were "all coming back".

General Motors' statement came after President Donald Trump announced that he has spoken to General Motors CEO Mary Barra to vent his frustration about the automaker's closure of an OH manufacturing plant while the USA economy continues to fare well.

Trump said GM needs to act quickly because the economy "is so good" that other auto companies - like Toyota - are investing heavily in their USA operations. "Time is of the essence!" read the first GM-related tweet.

General Motors said in a statement Sunday that the future of plants scheduled to be closed "will be resolved between GM and the UAW".

Trump delivered equal criticism to General Motors CEO Mary Barra and the head of the local UAW union, David Green, to speed up talks between the two groups and perhaps negotiate a sale of the plant.

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"I don't care, I just want it open!" he wrote of the facility.

Neither Green nor GM immediately responded to CNBC's requests to comment on Trump's tweets.

The automaker also says that it has "opportunities available for virtually all impacted employees" at plants that are to be shuttered. "Stop complaining and get the job done!"

In his latest tweet, Trump said he reiterated to Barra that GM should do something quickly, including potentially selling the plant.

GM says Cruze sales in foreign countries have remained stable, fallen less sharply than in the USA or even increased, as is the case in South America. Toyota is investing $13.5 Billion in USA, others likewise.

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Trump has skewered several other USA companies for not doing more to help their country's economy, but his remarks so far have been more bark than bite.

Reopening Lordstown to manufacture another model is not something possible on a whim; Lordstown was retooled in 2012 specially to produce the Cruze, and retooling the plant again for another model would require an investment of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars-cash GM is setting aside to keep itself technologically up-to-date.

The idling of the Lordstown plant is costing 1,500 jobs there.

Annual sales of the Cruze in North America peaked at 273,000 in 2014, but a year ago totaled just 142,000, as Americans are buying fewer passenger cars and instead opting to purchase bigger sport utility vehicles or pickup trucks.

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