I Read The Auto Biographies So You Don't Have To

Here's GM's plan.   It wants up to $30 billion from the government.... in exchange for essentially becoming SM: Specific Motors.

The basics: GM will reduce its nameplates to 36 by 2012. It will cut 25,000 U.S. jobs within the next year. It will close down 38 factories by 2012, five more than it had previously anticipated.  Every model released through 2014 will be either a hybrid or be designed specifically to run through gasoline more slowly. By 2012, 65% of its sales should come from "alternative fuel" cars.  Of its brands, GM anticipates selling both Hummer and Saab. Pontiac will remain a viable. Saturn is dying in two years. GM plans to reduce its dealerships by 25% over the next for years.  GM's productivity numbers will improve, it says, subject to ratification of a new deal with UAW.

Company boilerplate:

The revised Plan restructures the Company's business in the U.S. by concentrating on
GM's three strongest global brands (Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick) and its premium
truck brand (GMC); by restructuring the retail distribution channel to achieve a strong,
healthy dealer network while preserving GM's historical strength in rural areas; by basing
the product plan on ―fewer, better‖ entries; and by continued commitment to be a quality
leader. The Company is accelerating the timetable to achieve competitive costs and work
rules to 2009, in line with Federal loan requirements. The Company will close additional
facilities and reduce employment beyond the December Plan targets, and will continue to
leverage already highly efficient manufacturing and product development operations.

 Here's Chrysler's plan.  It's more defensive-sounding that GM's. Managers say that Chrysler won't survive on its own without help, and that the status of talks with three other automakers, including GM, are, at this point, are not furnishing offers, although a deal with Fiat is promising.  Another option is a sort of trust  "under the control of the President's designee."  Chrysler is lowering its target SAAR -- it's seasonal annual adjust rate of sale -- to 10.1 million  in 2009, rising to 13.7 million in 2016, subject to $10 billion in funds from the government and from union oncessions. 32,000 jobs have already been cut; 3,000 more are expected. 4 brands have been killed; three more will be killed by 2012.


Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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