GM is near agreements to sell its Saturn division and to help finance the buyout of bankrupt auto-parts supplier Delphi Corp., according to reports Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Reports say GM has inked a preliminary deal to sell off Saturn to major auto dealer and racing icon Roger Penske.
Automakers Make Case for Closings
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing to review “GM and Chrysler Closures: Protecting Dealers and Consumers.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman, opened the hearing defending automobile dealers against the dealership closures by automakers.
The top executives of GM and Chrysler have said that dealership closings are justified, as they try to overcome bankruptcy and survive. The executives acknowledged that cutting dealerships was causing pain around the country in front of the Senate Commerce committee on June 3.
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Just over two months ago, I spoke with you in this same spot about the challenges facing our auto industry, and I laid out what needed to be done to save two of America's most storied automakers -- General Motors and Chrysler. These companies were facing a crisis decades in the making, and having relied on loans from the previous administration, were asking for more.
Eight Chrysler plants now seem likely to be closed down entirely. In addition to plants in south St. Louis, Missouri and Newark, Deleware that are already idle, the following 6 North American plants are in danger:
About 300 dealers from 45 states announced on May 18 that they have formed an alliance called the 'Committee of Chrysler Affected Dealers' to protest "old Chrysler's" plan to cancel 789 franchises. The group is asking U.S. bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez to delay hearings on Chrysler's reorganization plan.
"In the past, an agreement such as this would have been considered impossible," said President Obama, announcing an unprecedented increase in mileage and emissions standards on May 19, bringing new cars and trucks sold in the United States to an average of 35.5 miles per gallon, about 10 mpg more than today's standards. The rules will begin to take effect in 2012 and are to be achieved by 2016.
Ralph Nader, in a letter to Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, called on the Senate and House banking committees to hold thorough hearings to protect taxpayers' investments and seek answers to several questions such as: