The new future of General Motors starts today after the company announced it planned to idle three assembly plants and reduce its salaried workforce by 15 percent as it looks to strengthen its core business and capitalize on significant cost efficiencies. In all, the move should save the company upwards of $6 billion with most of it earmarked for autonomous driving programs and electric vehicle development.
The plant closures have already claimed the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze, and Impala, along with the Buick LaCrosse, while questions remain regarding the future of the Cadillac XTS and CT6 sedans. As a knock-on effect of the assembly plant closures, both Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan and Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland are scheduled to close by the time summer 2019 rolls around.
Baltimore, which is responsible for the production of Allison 1000 transmission which is used in 2500 and 3500 versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, will wrap operations by April 1, 2019. Unless General Motors is prepared to source the gearboxes directly from Allison or reestablish production elsewhere, this could point to a new transmission on offer for the upcoming T1 2500/3500 trucks.
Warren Transmission will soldier on until August 1, 2019, when it will cease producing 6-speed transmissions and the Global Front Wheel Electric unit for the Volt. 6-speeds from Warren are currently found in the now discontinued XTS, Impala, and Volt, but it can also be found in the Acadia, and Malibu… models that will soldier on. With the Acadia losing its supply of 6-speed transmissions we could finally see the crossover migrate to GM’s new 9-speed transmission developed in partnership with Ford. The 9-speed already made its debut in the Malibu during 2017, and the 2019 Malibu already replaces the old 6-speed with a CVT.