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Instead of Layoffs, GM Gave Workers a Choice To Leave. The Results Will Save Them About $1 Billion Annually. General Motors implemented a Voluntary Separation Program in March. A month later, it's already saved the company $1 billion.

By Madeline Garfinkle

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bloomberg | Getty Images
GMC Hummer electric vehicles on the production line at General Motors' Factory ZERO all-electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Last month, General Motors announced a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) for the majority of its white-collar workers in the U.S. (and some of its global employees). The buyout option gave employees around two weeks to decide whether to stay with the company or accept a severance package that included healthcare and other benefits.

CFO Paul Jacobson told Yahoo Finance that the VSP was "a tool to get us to really accelerate the attrition curve."

"It's important that we were willing to pay for the voluntary program to incent people to go who maybe were closer to retirement or had just decided they wanted a change in career or lifestyle, at the same time to do everything we can to try to avoid involuntaries or layoffs," Jacobson told PBS.

A month later, implementing the VSP has already paid off: 5,000 of the company's 58,000 workers took the buyout deal. It will save GM nearly $1 billion a year as a result.

Related: Yes, Google is Cutting Back on Staplers to Save Money. Could This Be The End of Tech Company Perks?

The savings will account for about half of the $2 billion the company had stated it intends to save by the end of 2024, PBS reported.

"The steps we are taking will allow us to maintain momentum, remain agile, and create a more competitive GM," the company said in a prepared statement, per PBS.

As for the rest of the $2 billion the company is aiming to save, it intends to do so through other cost-cutting measures such as reducing spending on travel and marketing as well as reducing vehicle complexity, it told the outlet.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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