GM Offers Buyouts to 18,000 Workers, Months After Warning About Layoffs Over Trump’s Tariffs

October 31, 2018, 6:09 PM UTC

In an effort to save money, General Motors is reportedly offering buyouts to salaried employees in North America who have 12 or more years of experience.

The voluntary severance program was announced shortly after the company’s third-quarter earnings report where it reported an operating profit of $2.5 billion and 10.2% profit margins in North America, The Detroit News reports.

18,000 employees are reportedly eligible for the offer. They have until Nov. 19 to choose to opt in.

The company has a cost-saving target for the move but has not disclosed that target nor what it is offering employees who decide to opt for the buyout package. After the Nov. 19 deadline, it will evaluate whether layoffs are needed.

In June, GM warned the Trump Administration that its steel tariff might potentially lead to fewer jobs and lower wages for Americans working for car companies in the states. Trump had also suggested imposing a 25% tariff on imported cars, a move analysts thought was intended to pressure Mexico into renegotiating the NAFTA trade pact. At the time, GM said such a move would likely lead it to raise prices or move its manufacturing facilities elsewhere. An aide to President Trump dismissed GM’s concerns as “smoke and mirrors.”

It’s possible the buyouts are a way for GM to prepare itself for potential future business-damaging orders from Trump. In a statement, GM said that the company and economy are strong, and it’s making the move to get “ahead of the curve.”