General Motors Corp. (GM) expects to achieve about $4 billion in savings this year as the world's largest automaker implements its North American turnaround plan, CEO Rick Wagoner said Friday.

In a statement preceding a conference call with analysts, Wagoner said the company is working to implement its previously announced plan to reduce structural costs by $6 billion a year by the end of 2006 and reduce material costs by $1 billion.

GM shares rose 28 cents at $20.80 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

GM expects to realize $4 billion in savings this year as the initiatives are implemented.

The company's U.S. sales fell 4 percent in 2005, and GM lost billions of dollars in its North American operations. The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings Jan. 26.

"We continue to explore ways to strengthen our liquidity, and we know the most obvious way is to get our North American automotive operations back to generating positive cash flow," Wagoner said in the statement Friday. "And we will continue to pursue other opportunities as well.

"Our primary focus in North America this year is to fully and rapidly implement our turnaround plan, which focuses on the areas that can quickly improve our results and, just as important, fundamentally enhance our long-term competitiveness. We expect to see improved results in 2006 and further progress in 2007."