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GM to cut 30,000 staff

General Motors is to cut 30,000 jobs in North America in an attempt to revive the company.

GM will also close down nine assembly, stamping and engine facilities.

The restructuring could help reduce costs by $7bn (£4.08bn) a year by 2006 - $1bn (£582m) more than first planned.

"This has been a difficult period for all of us at GM but I'm confident that by working together we can and will get through this," said Rick Wagoner, GM's chief executive.

"The decisions we are announcing today were very difficult to reach because of their impact on our employees and the communities where we live and work.

"But these actions are necessary for GM to get its costs in line with our major global competitors.

In short, they are an essential part of our plan to return our North American operations to profitability as soon as possible," he added.

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