G.M.’s Latest Plan Envisions a Much Smaller Automaker

For all the uncertainty swirling around General Motors, the troubled automaker said Monday that one thing was clear: it must become drastically smaller if it hopes to remain a viable company, regardless of whether it has to file for bankruptcy.

G.M. said it would eliminate another 21,000 factory jobs, close 13 plants, cut its vast network of 6,500 dealers almost in half and shutter its Pontiac division.

By the time it is finished, G.M. expects to have only 38,000 union workers and 34 factories left in the United States, compared with 395,000 workers in more than 150 plants at its peak employment in 1970.

One goal of this latest plan was to convince the Obama administration, which has been skeptical of G.M.’s previous restructuring goals, that the company is willing to take harsh measures and cut its bloated infrastructure to match its steadily declining share in the United States.

Absent such steps, the government has said it is reluctant to lend the company more money. But for the first time since it toppled into financial crisis last year, G.M. appears to be earning government support.