Posted tagged ‘Bailout’

GM To Cut More Than 1100 US Dealers

May 15, 2009

General Motors notified 1,100 of its 6,000 dealerships today that it is terminating their contracts with the struggling automaker.

From CNN:

GM spokeswoman Susan Garontakos said that the dealers receiving notice Friday are being told that their contracts will not be renewed in October 2010. Many of them are expected to close shop this year.

The company has told the Obama administration that it plans to cut its network down to 3,600 dealers by next year.

Much of the rest of the cuts will come from GM’s plans to sell or close four brands – Saturn, Hummer, Saab and Pontiac.

Those four brands have about 600 dealerships that do not include other GM brands. But most Pontiac and Hummer dealers will stay in the GM family because they have one of the four remaining GM brands as part of their operation.

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Chrysler To Close 789 Dealerships

May 14, 2009

Chrysler hopes to eliminate roughly a quarter of its 3,200 U.S. dealerships by early next month, saying in a bankruptcy court filing this morning that there are too many stores competing with each other.

From the Associated Press:

The company, in a motion filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, said it wants to eliminate 789 dealerships by June 9. Many of the dealers’ sales are too low, the automaker said. Just over 50 percent of dealers account for about 90 percent of the company’s U.S. sales, the motion said.

Dealers were told Thursday morning via United Parcel Service letter if they would remain or be eliminated. The move, which the dealers can appeal, is likely to cause devastating affects in cities and towns across the country as thousands of jobs are lost and taxes are not paid.

Obama: No Bailout Funds for Automakers

March 29, 2009

The White House says neither GM nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more bailout money, setting the stage for a crisis in Detroit and putting in motion what could be the final two months of two American auto giants.

From the Associated Press:

President Barack Obama and his top advisers have determined that neither company is viable and that taxpayers will not spend untold billions more to keep the pair of automakers open forever. In a last-ditch effort, the administration gave each company a brief deadline to try one last time to convince Washington it is worth saving, said senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to more bluntly discuss the decision.

Obama was set to make the announcement at 11 a.m. Monday in the White House’s foyer.

In an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” broadcast Sunday, Obama said the companies must do more to receive additional financial aid from the government.

“We think we can have a successful U.S. auto industry. But it’s got to be one that’s realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge—at the other end—much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is,” Obama said.

Frustrated administration officials said Chrysler cannot function as an independent company under its current plan. They have given Chrysler a 30-day window to complete a proposed partnership with Italian automaker Fiat SpA, and will offer up to $6 billion to the companies if they can negotiate a deal before time runs out.

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner to Step Down

March 29, 2009

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will step down after more than eight years with the company.

From Bloomberg:

General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner will step down after more than eight years running the largest U.S. automaker, people familiar with the situation said.

The people, who asked not to be named because the announcement hasn’t been made, didn’t give a reason why Wagoner, 56, is leaving. Wagoner said as recently as March 19 that he didn’t plan to resign.

From the New York Times:

The chairman and chief executive of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, is resigning, just as President Obama prepares to unveil his rescue plans on Monday for G.M. and the ailing American auto industry, according to a person close to the decision.

The unexpected move by Mr. Wagoner, who has been at the helm of G.M. for eight years, was not confirmed by the company. But a statement about Mr. Wagoner’s future will be issued after the president’s address.

G.M. and Chrysler are on the verge of exhausting the $17.4 billion in federal loans given to them since December. G.M. has asked for up to $16.6 billion more, and Chrysler another $5 billion.

The president’s auto task force is expected to recommend more short-term assistance to the two Detroit companies, but with tight strings attached to the money and a new deadline to get concessions from union workers and creditors.

Barack Obama Signs Stimulus Bill

February 17, 2009

President Barack Obama finally signed a much hyped $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law today.

Time to see if this will help stimulate an economy that needs all the help it can get!

From USA Today:

President Obama called his $787 billion stimulus package the “most sweeping economic recovery act in our history” as he signed legislation in Denver Tuesday to create works projects and tax cuts designed to stimulate the sagging economy.

“I don’t want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems,” Obama said. “But today does mark the beginning of the end … the beginning of what we need to do to provide relief” for families that can’t pay their billls.

Before the signing Obama toured a solar panel installation project at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in order to highlight the “green jobs” projects that are part of the stimulus package.

The bill will create or save 3.5 million jobs.

“We’re putting Americans to work, doing the work that America needs done,” the president said before signing the legislation.

From Reuters:

Obama, who has described the package as one part of a plan to solve his country’s economic ills, was expected to lay out a strategy on Wednesday to stem home foreclosures and address the housing crisis that sparked the financial sector meltdown.

Meanwhile financially strapped General Motors Corp (GM.N) and Chrysler LLC raced to finish restructuring plans that must be submitted to the Obama administration by the end of the day as part of efforts to keep America’s biggest carmakers afloat. [ID:nLH623622]

Obama, speaking in Denver where he visited a solar power installation, has staked his political reputation on the package, a mixture of tax cuts and spending projects, saying its success will determine his success as president.

“We’re putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done in critical areas that have been neglected for too long … work that will begin real and lasting change for generations to come,” Obama said.

The White House has said it will take about a month for the money to start flowing from the package. Some economists, however, believe the measures will come too late to have an effect in 2009, when many forecasters predict full-year output will contract.

The package includes working class tax cuts, infrastructure spending, help for the poor and unemployed and investment in alternative energy.

Obama has predicted that the stimulus plan will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.

Though a major success for his young presidency, the stimulus debate in Congress laid bare bitter divisions over how to boost an economy suffering a rising jobless rate of 7.6 percent and a banking crisis that has nearly frozen lending.

Only three Republicans voted for the measure in the 100-seat Senate, and no Republicans broke ranks to support it the House, arguing it had too much spending and not enough tax breaks. The final plan was split into 36 percent for tax cuts and 64 percent in spending and other provisions.

Time Magazine: Friday, February 20…Get It!!!

February 12, 2009

I finally got word that the TIME Magazine article featuring my family and I will be on newsstands Friday, February 20.

Not sure how long the article is, how much of it we’re in, or if they’re gonna use the photos they took. I’ll know when everyone else does!

As most of you know, the story is about how families have come together during tough economic times to help each other out.

For two years, my wife, two children and I lived together with my in laws. My father in law has been going through a difficult time since he was laid off and although we had hoped to move out after only a few short months, it just made more sense for us to continue living together. We all got along (pretty well) and my in laws got to see their grandchildren every day. I know they loved that 🙂

I hope it’s a good story. I hope that there’s nothing negative. Now I have to sweat it out until then to read it 🙂

We’re gonna have our fifteen minutes of fame! Much less time than the whole Casey/Caylee Anthony story, that’s for sure!

Pick up a copy if you want to read! I’ll post the story here when it comes out.

Retail Sales in the US…Rise?

February 12, 2009

U.S. retail sales jumped 1 percent in January, reversing a six-month declining trend and defying economists’ expectations by posting the biggest increase in 14 months.

From the Associated Press:

The data are a glimmer of hope for a recession-hit economy, but higher gasoline prices and sales, and buyers snapping up other items on post-holiday discounts, appeared to aid last month’s results. Analysts cautioned that the relief is unlikely to last.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that January retail sales rose 1 percent from December after having fallen for six straight months. Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected January sales to show a drop of 0.8 percent. They plunged a revised lower 3 percent in December, which marked the weakest holiday selling season since at least 1969.

“This is a big surprise, though the net rise in sales is less impressive than it looks because (December and November) were revised down by 0.3 percent each,” Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note. “The headline relief today is welcome but it is unlikely to last.”

The January report shows strong increases in sales of automobiles and in general merchandise stores — the “big box” outlets — though sales by department stores, carrying fewer varieties of items, posted a decline. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, is an example of a discounter that has benefited from strapped consumers’ focus on necessities like groceries and on bargains for other items.