It's part of a major restructuring that will prioritize the company's electric and autonomous vehicle programs.
Plants in Baltimore, Maryland, and Warren, Michigan that assemble powertrain components will have no products assigned to them after 2019 and thus are at risk of closure, the company said.
GM a year ago promised to launch a fleet of 20 new battery electric vehicles in North America by 2023, along with at least 10 new electric vehicles in China by 2020.
The company said it plans to halt production of the Chevrolet Cruze at the Lordstown plant in March.
Meanwhile, GM's plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will stop making the Impala, Cadillac XTS and 2018 full-size pickups in the fourth quarter of next year.
"These tend to be the lower-margin vehicles", GM's Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara told reporters. It would not say how many have accepted the buyouts, but it was short of the company's target because GM said there will be white-collar layoffs. In addition to the previously announced closure of the assembly plant in Gunsan, Korea, GM will cease the operations of two additional plants outside North America by the end of 2019.
"Based on commitments made during 2016 contract negotiations, Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit of that agreement", the union said in a statement on its website.
Its North American salaried workforce, including engineers and executives, will shrink by 15 percent, or about 8,000 jobs.
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"The first thing I said is, 'What can we do?"
GM added that it expects to save some $6 billion by the end of 2020.
Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the Canadian labour union, said he "will vigorously fight again to maintain these good-paying auto jobs".
Trump's victories in OH and MI helped seal his electoral vote total and the United States presidency. He added that he's "not happy" about the announcement. Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, called the decision, which would affect 2,600 jobs, "absolutely devastating" for the local economy.
"GM workers have been part of the heart and soul of Oshawa for generations - and we'll do everything we can to help the families affected by this news get back on their feet", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet.
In a statement, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan described the news as "troubling" and said that the city's economic development team and the UAW union are "working together to come up with a solution that works for GM and the employees".
The decision to halt production at the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and its Hamtramck facility in MI are a blow to the states' economies.
"Everybody's very downhearted", he said. The auto manufacturer says it plans to close five facilities in 2019, including assembly plants in OH and MI, and reduce its workforce by 15 percent.
"In contrast to times past, General Motors, under CEO Mary Barra, is trying to get ahead of a potential crisis by making cuts now", said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader.