DETROIT — General Motors is freezing work on some vehicle programs and will temporarily reduce paychecks for all salaried employees globally by 20 percent to conserve cash as it weathers the coronavirus outbreak. But the automaker is promising to make up for the lost income within a year.
In addition, 6,500 salaried workers in the U.S. — mostly people in engineering and manufacturing functions who cannot work remotely — will be placed on leave and receive 75 percent of regular pay during the downtime.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra and CFO Dhivya Suryadevara told employees on Thursday the company needed to take immediate aggressive steps to cut costs.
On a webcast, Suryadevara warned “if we don’t take significant austerity measures we will do serious damage to the long-term viability of our company,” according to a recording reviewed by Reuters.
Suryadevara noted that GM has very little revenue coming in “and we are preparing to operate the company temporarily on credit…