GM Reveals Plan to Save $15 Billion

General Motors will try to cut expenses by $15 billion by the end of next year through a combination of job reductions, production slowdowns, terminated retiree benefits and salary freezes, the company said yesterday.

The moves, about six weeks after the struggling auto giant announced plant closings designed to save $1 billion per year, are meant to ensure that GM has enough cash to stay in business.

In an interview, chief executive G. Richard Wagoner shot down speculation that GM would spin off its healthy international division or consider a merger to alleviate its cash crisis.

The Detroit manufacturer maintains its status as the world's largest automaker, largely because of Toyota's surprise June downturn. GM is doing better overseas than domestically -- Buick is a hot brand in China -- but it said yesterday that it anticipates a "significant" second-quarter loss.

The troubles have been exacerbated by soaring gas prices, which have crushed sales of GM's high-profit trucks and sport-utility vehicles. The cost-cutting measures rolled out yesterday include:

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