One day before General Motors and Chrysler are required to submit restructuring plans to Congress, it was widely reported that President Barack Obama has decided to scrap plans to appoint a "car czar" who would oversee the automakers' restructuring.

Ford, Toyota, Nissan, General Motors and Chrysler all posted record lows in their January sales reports Tuesday. The declines come at the end of a stretch of 15 months of plummeting sales that bring the companies' total losses near a…