DETROIT, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- General Motors Tuesday reported an industry record $38.7 billion loss in 2007 and offered buyouts to 74,000 union workers in a bid to rebuild the U.S. carmaker.
Much of the loss was blamed on an $38.3 billion third-quarter special charge related to unused tax credits.
GM reported a fourth-quarter loss of $722 million, compared with a net profit of $180 million or 32 cents a share in the final quarter of 2006.
GM spokesman Dan Flores said the company would offer lucrative buyout packages to its 74,000 United Auto Workers members and replace retiring workers with new hires who can be brought in at a lower pay scale.
Some 46,000 GM workers are eligible for retirement and will be offered incentives ranging between $45,000 and $62,500, Flores told CNN/Money. Incentives also will be offered those five years from retirement to leave early. Those who accept the packages will be asked to sever all ties -- including pension and healthcare coverage -- for a lump sum of $140,000 for those with 10 years or more of service and $70,000 for those with less than 10 years.
"We've worked with our UAW partners to ensure our employees have a variety of attractive options to consider," GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner said in a statement. "The special attrition program is an important initiative that will help us transform the workforce."