San Francisco— Automaker General Motors (GM) is laying off hundreds of workers from the company as it follows other major companies, including competitors, in downsizing headcounts to preserve cash and boost profits, the media reported.

Announced internally on Tuesday, the cuts affected about 500 positions across the company’s various functions, reports CNBC, citing sources.

The timing of the job cuts seems odd as it roughly comes a month after GM CEO Mary Barra and CFO Paul Jacobson told investors that the company was not planning any layoffs.

GM Chief People Officer Arden Hoffman confirmed the company’s goal of $2 billion in cost savings over the next two years in a letter sent on Tuesday, which “we’ll find by reducing corporate expenses, overhead, and complexity in all our products”, said the report.

In an emailed statement, the company reiterated that the cuts were a result of performance, saying that they help with “managing the attrition curve as part of our overall structural cost reduction effort”, the report added.

Meanwhile, US automaker Ford Motors has announced it will eliminate 3,800 jobs over the next three years in Europe to restructure its business, creating a leaner, more competitive cost structure.

By 2025, Ford plans to resize its European engineering footprint, resulting in 2,800 fewer jobs. (IANS)