Falling demand for SUVs and pickups and the compounded effects of rising fuel prices and a slowing economy are hitting American automakers hard. Already reeling from shrinking market share and tough competition from cheaper Asian rivals, America's former Big 3 have been forced to speed up their respective restructuring plans and starting making the hard decisions.

Ford yesterday confirmed that it would cut an additional 2,000 salary jobs on top of the 12,000 hourly wage-earners booted out since 2005, and now GM has revealed it will develop a tough new restructuring plan to help deal with the dire market conditions.

Speaking with Automotive News, an inside source revealed that the new plan will be announced at the company's annual meeting in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 3. The new plan is likely to include further cost cuts, reduced pickup and SUV production and faster roll-out of more car and crossover models. Already this week GM announced it would speed up the elimination of one shift each at its Flint and Pontiac pickup truck factories.

GM is also recovering from recent strikes at two of its plants and at its supplier American Axle, which cost it more than $2 billion over the past two months.