California is fighting the Trump administration over fuel efficiency standards, with California setting much higher standards for how much a car can pollute. Thirteen other states have followed California’s lead. Over the years, the automobile industry has reshaped to comply with California and the other states.
For GM in particular, the company is building more electric cars. CEO Mary Barra has launched an ambitious, and possibly financially risky, plan to shut down some smaller car lines in order to build electric cars. That’s one reason for the GM strike: It takes fewer workers to make EVs. Ultimately, the company wants to stop building gas and diesel-powered cars altogether.