With an almost certain bankruptcy filing days away, General Motors is beginning its reinvention, planning to retool one factory to make its smallest vehicles ever in the U.S. and rid itself of the biggest.
As GM’s board began two days of meetings Friday to make a final decision on the company’s fate, GM was also closing in on a sale of its European Opel unit, and its main union overwhelmingly approved dramatic labor cost cuts. A deal to sell its rugged but inefficient Hummer brand also appeared on the horizon.
The moves provided more clues about what a restructured GM might look like ahead of the expected Chapter 11 filing Monday. Taxpayers will eventually own nearly three-quarters of a leaner GM, with a total government commitment of nearly $50 billion.
GM has yet to confirm it will seek bankruptcy protection but scheduled a news conference for Monday in New York.
With the government’s backing and nearly $20 billion in U.S. loans so far, the company has made more dramatic changes in just a few days than it has in decades.