General Motors CEO Mary Barra said on Wednesday that the automaker is close to launching production of its Chevrolet Blazer model in Mexico, adding that it would be “very expensive” to move the assembly to a US plant.
GM announced in June that it would build the Blazer in Mexico, prompting criticism and pressure from some lawmakers to assemble the vehicle in one of the assembly plants that the company is paralyzing.
Barra said the Blazer will be “launched in the coming days.” He added that GM plans to start production of several new vehicles in the United States, including two new Cadillac models that will be assembled in Michigan next year.
The executive promised to keep an “open mind” about the future of a plant in Ohio that will lose part of its production of vehicles, but warned that the Detroit automaker has excess capacity and did not suggest that the company is re-evaluating its plan.
Two senators from Ohio and other US lawmakers have pressured Barra to move production from Mexico or build electric vehicles at the Lordstown Assembly plant in his state, which the company has said it intends to close.
“I want to make sure that the workforce knows there are limitations and that we have excess capacity in the country,” Barra said, urging employees at the plants that will be closed to seriously consider GM’s offers to work in other areas of the country. country.
US President Donald Trump told GM last week that the “best” company should find a new vehicle to build at the plant in Ohio, a state that could be key to its chances of winning reelection in 2020.
When asked about Trump’s comments, Barra did not respond directly but said he understands the strong reaction in Washington. “I understand that this is something that impacts the country and I understand that there is a lot of emotion and concern,” Barra said.
GM said last week it would close five assembly plants in North America next year and cut up to 15,000 jobs. The company attributed the need for restructuring to a slowdown in car sales.