GM CEO Mary Barra was forced to shut US plants: Bob Nardelli

Former Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli told FOX Business that General Motors CEO Mary Barra was forced to make the difficult decision to shut down four U.S. auto plants.

“I don’t think Mary had a choice in her decision relative to closing some of these plants and the platforms,” he said during an interview on “Countdown to the Closing Bell Thursday. “The consumer dictates what cars have to be built.”

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are urging the GM CEO to reconsider the company’s plans to cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce in North America. Barra, who met with Michigan lawmakers on Thursday, was advised to utilize U.S. based GM plants for the production of new products before going to Mexico.

“We hope she heard us,” Democratic Rep. Sander Levin, representing Michigan's 9th congressional district, told reporters.

Nardelli said the retooling of GM’s production back into some of the plant closures in Michigan and Ohio is a legitimate request by lawmakers. However, the auto maker has noted it won’t commit to the idea nor will it commit to keeping its production at some of the plant closure locations.

Barra defended the company’s decision to overhaul its production and facilities in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence while adding that the company is focused is on the workers and ensuring that GM remains a leader in the rapidly changing auto industry.

“We need to make sure that General Motors is around for the next several decades,” she said on Wednesday.

John Wise, a former GM engineer and currently LOCI Chairman, said the automaker’s cutbacks stems more from a cultural issue rather than a business or economic decision.

“As every corporation that’s getting ready to fall or go into bankruptcy, they just say that they weren’t innovated enough, they weren’t nimble enough. Well it’s not just them. It’s too expensive to be innovative,” he said.