Citing rising costs and drop in car sales, General Motors (GM) has concluded plans to halt production at five factories and cut more than 14,000 jobs.
The US carmaker has also announced it will close three plants outside North America by the end of 2019.
The moves follow rising costs and slower car sales and come as the firm focuses on its line-up of trucks, electric and self-driving vehicles.
But the restructuring drew swift criticism from politicians, including President Donald Trump.
“I am not happy about it,” he said of the plans, which undercut his claims that his policies are spurring a revival in the US auto industry.
“They better put something else in.”
The production cuts come as buyers in North America have turned away from smaller cars to bigger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks, which now make up nearly 70% of total US car purchases.
Ms Barra said GM wants to invest in electric and autonomous vehicles, which are expected to drive future industry growth.
She is also responding to rising costs – including from new tariffs on materials such as steel – while preparing the firm for the next downturn, after US car sales peaked in 2016.
The company said the plan would help it save about $6bn (£4.7bn) by the end of 2020.
“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” said GM chair and chief executive Mary Barra.
“We recognise the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”
GM said it is cutting production of the Buick LaCross, Chevrolet Impala and Cruze, as well as the Cadillac CT6 and XTS – all sedans – as well as the Chevrolet Volt and older versions of the Silverado and Sierra.
According to BBC report, the closures in North America include an assembly plant in Oshawa, Canada; facilities in Detroit and Warren in Michigan; a plant in Warren, Ohio and a site near Baltimore in Maryland.
It is also closing a factory in South Korea, as announced in February, as well as two other international facilities that were not specified.
GM said it expects the cuts in North America to affect more than 6,100 shift workers at the five plants, as well as more than 8,000 salaried employees.
Globally, the firm, which employed about 180,000 salaried and shift staff at the end of last year, is aiming to reduce the number of salaried employees by 15%, including 25% fewer executives.