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Timeline: Big Three Automakers’ Recent Troubles

BY Admin  July 10, 2009 at 12:50 PM EST

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July 10 | General Motors emerges from bankruptcy after 40 days. General Motors Corp. CEO Fritz Henderson said Friday that the company now begins the task of rebuilding.
More: GM Emerges From Bankruptcy Protection Facing Tough Car Market

June 1 | General Motor files for bankruptcy protection.
More: After Bankruptcy Filing, Focus Turns to the ‘New GM’

May 27, 2009
| A General Motors offer to exchange bond debt for stock was rejected by bondholders, pushing GM closer to bankruptcy ahead of the June 1 deadline set by the Obama administration to submit a restructuring plan.
More: After
Bond Deal Fails, Bankruptcy Likely for GM

May 15, 2009 | GM and Chrysler announce they will close hundreds of dealerships across the country.
More: Auto Dealership Closings Reverberate Across Economy

April 30, 2009 | Chrysler says it will file for bankruptcy as it moves ahead with its restructuring plans, which include a merger with Italian carmaker Fiat SpA. Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli says he will leave the company after it emerges from bankruptcy.
More: NewsHour: Chrysler to File for Bankruptcy

March 30, 2009 | GM CEO Rick Wagoner resigns as President Barack Obama unveils tougher terms for federal aid to the domestic automakers. The White House auto task force review includes a call for a sweeping restructuring of GM and a merger between Chrysler and Italian carmaker Fiat SpA.
More: NewsHour: GM CEO Ousted as Obama Details Auto Plan

March 26, 2009 | GM announces that 7,500 United Auto Workers union-represented employees, or 12 percent of its hourly workers, have accepted buyout or early-retirement offers. More: GM Press Release

March 19, 2009 | The Obama administration announces plans to lend up to $5 billion to struggling U.S. auto parts suppliers.
More: NPR: U.S. Treasury to Loan Auto Suppliers Up to $5 Billion

March 5, 2009 | A report finds that GM’s survival is in doubt without more federal aid. The company received $13.4 billion in federal loans in December.
More: NewsHour: GM’s Survival in Doubt Without More Aid

March 4, 2009
| Ford Motor Co. announces a debt-restructuring plan. Ford, unlike GM and Chrysler, has not accepted government aid.
More: Ford Press Release

March 3, 2009 | GM announces it sold 127,296 vehicles in February, down 52.9 percent from February 2008. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 96,044, down 48 percent from February 2008. Chrysler LLC reported selling 84,050 vehicles, a decrease of 44 percent from a year ago.

Feb. 25, 2009 | Italian automaker Fiat expresses continued interest in acquiring a piece of Chrysler’s business in exchange for helping the automaker build smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.
More: NPR: Italy’s Fiat Says It Still Wants A Piece Of Chrysler

Feb. 20, 2009 | Saab, once a part of GM, files to reorganize and create an independent business entity.
More: GM Press Release

Feb. 18, 2009 | GM, Chrysler, submit new restructuring plans including pleas for further federal aid that would bring the total government tab to around $39 billion. Chrysler will cut 3,000 jobs and production of three models; GM said it would cut 47,000 jobs globally.
More: NewsHour: GM, Chrysler Paint Dire Picture in Plea for More Federal Aid

Feb. 16, 2009
| One day before GM and Chrysler are required to submit restructuring plans to Congress, President Obama decides to scrap plans to appoint a “car czar” who would oversee the automakers’ restructuring
More: NewsHour: Obama to Drop Plan for Industry ‘Car Czar’

Feb. 10, 2009
| General Motors announces it will cut 10,000 white-collar jobs worldwide in 2009. Two days later, it offers voluntary buyouts to all 62,000 hourly production workers covered by the United Auto Workers.
More: New York Times: GM to Cut 10,000 Salaried Workers

Feb. 3, 2009 | GM announces that it sold 129,227 vehicles in January, down 49 percent compared to a year ago. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 90,596 in January, down 39 percent versus a year ago. Chrysler LLC reported total January 2009 U.S. sales of 62,157, down 55 percent versus the same month in 2008 and down 31 percent from December 2008.
More: NewsHour: Many Automakers Post Record Losses for January

Jan. 5, 2009 | GM announces that it sold 2.9 million vehicles in 2008, a 23 percent drop from 2007. Ford reported that Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 1.9 million, down 20 percent versus a year ago. For the year, U.S. sales for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge decreased 30 percent to 1.4 million units compared to total 2007 sales of 2 million.

Dec. 23, 2008 | GM shutters a plant in Wisconsin and moves that site’s work to Texas.
More: Nightly Business Report: GM Closes Down Its Janesville, Wis., Plant

Dec. 19, 2008 | U.S. automakers are granted a total of $17.4 billion in federal loans as part of an auto rescue plan crafted by the Bush administration. A deadline of March 31 is set for the companies to show they are financially “viable.”
More: NewsHour: White House Announces $17.4 Billion Auto Rescue
More: NewsHour: Rescue Plan Would Force Auto Companies to Restructure

Dec. 12, 2008 | A government-funded plan to aid automakers hits roadblocks in Congress over the terms for the companies and the status of certain union concessions.
More: NewsHour: UAW Chief Gettelfinger Defends Position on Wage Cuts

Dec. 12, 2008
| GM cuts production for the first quarter of 2009 by idling of approximately 30 percent of its North American assembly plants.
More: GM Press Release

Dec. 11, 2008
| The Senate rejects $14 billion in emergency loans for the automakers after the House passed its version.
More: NewsHour: Automakers Look to White House to Revive Bailout Hopes

Dec. 3, 2008 | Ford CEO Alan Mulally warns about a chain reaction if one of the automakers files for bankruptcy.
More: Ford CEO Promises Shift to Smaller Cars, Greater Efficiency if Industry Survives

Dec. 3, 2008 | United Auto Workers members vote to delay company payments to a health benefits trust and suspend the jobs bank, a program that keeps laid-off workers on the payroll.
More: UAW Press Release

Dec. 2, 2008 | GM dealers in the United States sold 154,877 vehicles in November, down 41 percent compared to the year before.

Dec. 2, 2008 | Detroit’s Big Three automakers submit plans to Congress asking for a total of $34 billion in government loans. During the three CEOs’ testimony on Capitol Hill, GM asked for as much as $18 billion, including an immediate $4 billion to survive past Jan. 1. Chrysler asked for an emergency $7 billion bridge loan to make it through 2008 plus an $8.5 billion loan to help restructure its production facilities.

Ford’s business plan expects the company will break even or be profitable in 2011 and cancelled bonuses for management and merit increases for salaried employees in 2009. The company asked the government to make $9 billion of bridge loans available if needed.
More: NewsHour: Big Three Automakers Submit Plans to Congress

Nov. 21, 2008 | A proposed $25 billion automaker rescue plan collapses in Congress and the Big Three plan to return to Washington with more detailed restructuring plans.
More: NewsHour: After Leaving Washington Empty-handed, Automakers to Craft Recovery Plan

Nov. 18, 2008 | Amid the backdrop of the Wall Street meltdown, the CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler appear before Congress for the first time to appeal for aid.
More: NewsHour: Struggling Automakers Press Congress for Federal Aid
More: NewsHour: GM CEO Rick Wagoner Defends Bid for Aid in Interview

June 3, 2008
| GM’s Wagoner says ”structural changes” will force the closing of four assembly plants. He also announces the company is considering selling its Hummer brand.
More: NewsHour: GM to Close 4 SUV, Truck Plants as Demand Dips
More: NewsHour: Extended Interview: GM CEO Rick Wagoner

May 2008 | Amid soaring gas prices, GM abandons plans to build a new generation of full-size sport utility vehicles, which had been a cash cow for the company for years.

April 2008 | With gas prices near $4 a gallon, GM’s sales were down 16 percent from the previous year; sales at Ford were down 12 percent; and Chrysler was down 23 percent.
More: NewsHour: Ford Posts Surprise $100M Quarterly Profit

Sources
| NewsHour, NPR, Nightly Business Report, New York Times, AP, Reuters, General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co.