SINGAPORE (Dec 3): In a sweeping transformation to prepare for a future of electric and self-driving cars, General Motors, the world’s top automaker, last week moved to shut down five North American plants, laying off 14,000 people, by the end of next year. The factories to be shuttered not only made internal combustion engine-based passenger cars but also the hybrid Chevy Volt. In their place, GM is adding capacity at plants that will make its pure-battery electric car Chevy Bolt, and throwing more money at Cruise, its driverless car unit, in San Francisco.

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