General Motors offers buyouts for U.S. employees and executives

General Motors is offering voluntary buyouts for employees and executives as it looks to reduce costs by $2 billion over the next two years – according to a letter sent to employees and obtained by FOX 2.

In the letter, which was sent to FOX 2 by an employee of GM, CEO Mary Barra said the company is working to be "proactive regarding workforce planning" and announced the voluntary program.

GM confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

Barra spells out three main steps the company is taking to reduce structural costs which include sharing more between gas-powered and electric vehicles, focusing investment on growth, and reducing salaried staff through attrition in the United States.

The plan, known as a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) will "presents an opportunity to explore a new industry, make a career change, further a personal business venture or decide you can retire earlier". The company is offering three different packages to employees, based on level of experience with the company 

This comes just a week after GM announced it was laying off 500 salaried and executive positions.

The VSP is entirely voluntary and is available to U.S. classified employees (levels 5-9) with at least five years of service to the company as of June 30, 2023. It's also available to global executives with two years of service as of June 30. It's currently available to U.S employees. GM Korea will have its own VSP announced locally and GM international will continue with a limited business optimization.

Employees have until March 24 to decide on accepting the VSP and, if eligible, they will receive an email later in the day on Thursday detailing the package - which is going to include "attractive compensation and health care", according to the letter.

"This program is designed to accelerate attrition in the U.S. Taking this step now will help avoid the potential for involuntary actions," the letter said. "By permanently bringing down structured costs, we can improve vehicle profitability and remain nimble in an increasing competitive market. Now more than ever, we need to have a mindset of taking cost out in everything we do. It needs to be built into our culture just like we've done with safety."

General Motors reports very good end to 2022 as sales rise 16%