General Motors has confirmed that it will cut an additional 2,000 factory jobs at three of its North American plants early next year, while at the same time asking Congress for a federal bailout package of up to $18 billion.

GM Spokesman Chris Lee told the Detroit Free Press that the company is temporary stopping production at its Orion Township and Lordstown assembly plants in Ohio, as well as the Oshawa facility in Ontario, for the month of January. Lee also confirmed that GM will also remove a shift from each plant when they resume due to slowing demand for products.

The shift removals will result in layoffs of an additional 390 people in Orion Township, another 900 in Lordstown and 700 more workers in Oshawa.

More drastic job cuts are likely if GM’s planned vehicle death list goes ahead. As part of its efforts to garner a federal handout, the General may be forced to eliminate up to eight nameplates by 2012.

GM is yet to reveal the full list of the vehicles that will be dropped, but some of the likely choices include the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, Cadillac XLR and DTS, and the already confirmed Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Uplander. Other vehicles that may go include the Buick Lucerne, Pontiac G6 and Solstice, and the Saturn Sky.

In its official restructuring plan filed with Congress this past week, GM said that by 2012 it will offer 29 cars and crossovers, and 11 trucks, a total of 40 nameplates. Today, GM offers 48 nameplates - 31 cars and crossovers, and 17 trucks, reports Automotive News.

While GM will be eliminating many slow-selling nameplates of the next couple of years, at the same time the carmaker is planning a number of exciting model introductions. These include the Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Volt, as well as a new RWD Cadillac sedan positioned below the CTS.