GM officials announce manufacturing cost reductions  General Motors (GM) has battled back from the brink of bankruptcy to post solid sales growth over the past 16 months. The U.S. automaker plans to achieve manufacturing cost reductions as it streamlines its supply chain this year, according to company officials. 

According to a report from The Associated Press, GM officials unveiled plans on Tuesday that call for the strategic overhaul of its supply chain. The Michigan-based carmaker was adversely affected by the disruptions emanating from the slowdown in Japan, and company engineers are working to make business cost reductions to increase profit margins.

GM will cut the number of car and truck frames it uses worldwide by 50 percent. Last year, GM used 30 different frames in its manufacturing facilities, but company officials hope to trim that figure down to 14 by 2018. The reduced frame total will help to save money on engineering, design and manufacturing costs, officials said.

What's more, GM officials said the company will keep its research and development funding consistent in the future - even when car sales edge down. GM also plans to increase factory capacity 45 percent in Brazil, Russia, China and India by 2014 as it works to benefit from surging growth in the so-called BRIC countries, the Washington Post reports.

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