As for the 450 jobs returning from Mexico, that involves axles that will be upgraded for use on GM’s next-generation pickup trucks. A key supplier, GM said, was also moving pickup operations back from Mexico, creating another 100 U.S. jobs.
“We will continue our commitment to driving a more efficient business,” said Barra, noting how GM has already consolidated a number of operations from around the world.
Over the last several years, for example, it returned about 6,000 IT jobs to the U.S., and consolidated seven engineering centers into three, with a significant focus on the General Motors Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren. New projects in finance and advanced technologies, the CEO stated, “are expected to result in more than 5,000 new jobs in the U.S. over the next few years.”
The issue of auto industry investments in the U.S. became politicized with Donald Trump’s entry into the 2016 political campaign. He quickly took aim at Ford for importing vehicles from Mexico, amping up his criticism last April when the nation’s second-largest automaker revealed plans to move all of its small car production to a new factory south of the border.
Early this month, Ford CEO Mark Fields announced the automaker was scrubbing the $1.6 billion plant, triggering self-congratulatory tweeting by Trump, even though Ford officials publicly noted they were still planning to move small car production to Mexico. They just decided to save cash by merging it into an existing, underutilized Mexican plant.
The president-elect also offered praise for Fiat Chrysler when it announced new U.S. investments in several Midwest factories — despite the fact that it had previously revealed the outline for that move which shifts production at two plants from slow-selling passenger cars to high-demand light trucks.