How General Motors Plans to Create Thousands of U.S. Jobs

January 17, 2017, 3:47 PM UTC

General Motors says it will invest $1 billion in its U.S. operations, covering a number of new advanced technology, vehicle, and component projects that will lead to 1,500 new and retained jobs.

The announcement follows recent criticism by president-elect Donald Trump, who has bashed GM for producing cars and components in Mexico and importing them into the U.S. General Motors has four factories in Mexico, most of which have been in operation for decades, that make vehicles as well as engines and transmissions.

General Motors (GM) is the latest automaker used by Trump as a symbol of outsourcing and the decline of manufacturing. Ford Motor, Toyota, and now German automakers have faced criticism from Trump as well.

GM has about three dozen vehicle assembly, component, tooling, and metal factories in the U.S. But that hasn’t prevented GM from escaping Trump’s disapproval. Last week, Trump praised Ford for canceling plans to build a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and Fiat Chrysler for adding more U.S. jobs. He called on GM to follow moves by Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra didn’t mention Trump in her announcement Tuesday. Instead, Barra said the $1 billion, which follows $2.9 billion in new investments announced last year, is part of company’s increased focus on overall efficiency over the last four years. This strategy has resulted 25,000 new jobs in the U.S.—about 19,000 engineering, IT, and professional jobs and 6,000 hourly manufacturing jobs, GM says.

The company says it has invested more than $21 billion into U.S. operations since 2009.

GM also announced it is also working on shifting production of axles for its next-generation of full-size pickup trucks from Mexico into Michigan, a move that is expected to create 450 U.S. jobs.

Barra noted that the company brought back more than 6,000 IT jobs that were previously outside of the U.S., and streamlined its engineering operations from seven to three facilities.

Overall, more than 5,000 new U.S. jobs will be created over the next few years because of GM’s latest moves, Barra said without providing more specifics.

GM says it’s also pushing to create a network of suppliers located near its U.S. factories, similar to its “supplier parks” next to the Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas, Spring Hill Assembly Plant in Tennessee, Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Indiana, and Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio.

GM says another supplier has committed to make components for the company’s next-generation full size pickup trucks in Michigan, which would move 100 supplier jobs from Mexico to the U.S.