DETROIT — General Motors expects to boost earnings this year in the aftermath of a strong 2018 that the automaker said exceeded its guidance and internal expectations.
The healthy 2019 forecast includes earnings per share of $6.50-$7 and adjusted free cash flow between $4.5 billion (all figures in USD) and $6 billion. That compares with 2018 EPS guidance of $5.80 to $6.20 — a key indicator for Wall Street — and automotive free cash flow of $4 billion, which the automaker on Friday said it expects to beat when it reports year-end results on Feb. 6.
GM's ongoing restructuring, which includes reducing its North American salaried workforce by 15 percent and closing up to five plants, will result in cost-savings between $2 billion and $2.5 billion this year, CFO Dhivya Suryadevara said during a media briefing Friday morning.
Plants slated for closure include Lordstown, Ohio; Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich.; Warren, Mich., White Marsh, Mich.; and Oshawa, Ont., near Toronto.
In a briefing for reporters before the presentation in New York, GM CEO Mary Barra said Friday the automaker has 2,700 jobs at other factories for the 3,300 U.S. factory workers slated for layoff. About 1,500 workers have expressed interest in moving to other plants, and 700 already have been placed, she said. Another 1,200 are eligible to retire, she said.
In Canada, about half the 2,600 workers in Oshawa are eligible to retire and the automaker has pledged millions to help find jobs for the remaining hourly workers.
Barra also said the company doesn't foresee any further job cuts through 2020.
The automaker previously said it expects the restructuring to contribute $6 billion in cash savings by 2020 — $4.5 billion in cost reductions and $1.5 billion in lower capital expenditures.
GM, which is holding an investor day later this morning in New York, did not give exact financial guidance or expected sales for 2019. It expects total U.S. industry sales -- including medium- and heavy-duty trucks -- to be in the low 17-million range this year. Light-vehicle sales in 2018 were 17.3 million.