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GM Viability Plan: 47,000 jobs to go, Saab, Hummer and Saturn for sale, may close

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General Motors (GM) will slash 47,000 jobs and attempt to sell off prime brands as part of a viability plan submitted to the US Government.

GM was required to submit the viability plan as a condition of receiving an additional $8-$12 billion in bailout loans.

The job cuts will come from the closure of five additional plants on top of the nine plants it had previously announced would close. The locations of the plants have not been disclosed. The plant closures will be accompanied by a reduction in model lines.

GM Dealerships will be reduced from 6,246 in 2008 to 4,700 by 2012, and to 4,100 by 2014.

GM will also attempt to sell, or failing a sale close three prime brands as part of the plan: Saab, Hummer and Saturn.

Reports suggest that Saab will survive, with the Swedish Government negotiating to inject $3 billion into the division, and for all intents and purposes taking over the company.

Hummer looks like it may be in trouble, with rumors of a possible Chinese buyer not confirmed. The Hummer product, popular with the US Army, struggled last year as oil prices pushed the gas price higher, driving down demand for the large gas-guzzling SUV’s Hummer is famous for.

Saturn will live on until 2011, the end of the current model cycle. GM said that it was willing to consider a buyout for the brand, but experts believe this is unlikely to happen. The Saturn brand was launched in 1990 and has never made money for GM.

GM also said that it was in negotiations to reduce costs in Canada, and had already found $1.2 billion in savings in its European operations. Of its Asia-Pacific operations, which include Daewoo in Korea, and Holden in Australia, GM only said that “some of the proposed capacity expansion projects and product programs in the region are no longer financially feasible and will not proceed without financial support from either the respective governments or from other partners.”

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