Article: What GM Layoffs Reveal About the Digitalization of the Auto Industry

December 17, 2018

By Mark Muro and Robert Maxim in Harvard Business Review

News that General Motors plans to cut up to 14,800 jobs in the U.S. and Canada was initially reported as a conventional business-cycle adjustment — a “trimming of the sails.” The main causes of the cuts were understood to be slowing demand in the U.S. and China, slumping demand for sedans, and the need to reduce over-capacity in North America....
....While all of those perspectives are relevant, the most revealing aspect of GM’s announcement may well be what the layoffs say about broader technology trends. GM’s layoffs are not just incremental but existential, in that sense: They are about accelerating the staffing changes mandated by the company’s aggressive transition from analog to digital products and from gasoline to electric power. As such, the new layoffs (and associated future hirings) are likely an augury of much more disruption coming — in the auto sector, for sure, but also in firms all across the economy.

Read More: Click Here to read about how changing automotive technology is reshaping our workforce.



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