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Once the air clears (pun intended) and the whining ends, what you’re likely to increasingly hear is how the big three automakers are rapidly ramping up their Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) research and development.

The company has yet to report fourth-quarter results, but FORD CEO Mulally's remark suggests the company's monthly cash burn narrowed to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter compared with $2.5 billion per month in the previous three months.

While most companies have seen a downturn since the recession began, recent news that Chrysler plans to suspend activity in most North American factories this summer meant another blow for the nation's auto parts suppliers - an industry that employs more U.S. workers than the automakers themselves.

Unless General Motors makes fundamental changes in its basic decision-making process, the company will be “back at the public trough again and again until the public finally grows weary and allows its demise.” That’s the view of Rob Kleinbaum, an auto industry business consultant who has worked or consulted for GM for the last 24 years.

Metlife has written to shop members of its DRP (Guaranteed Repair Program) suspending the use of aftermarket steel bumpers, bumper reinforcements, energy absorbers, brackets and radiator supports. The letter dated Feb 5, 2010, stated:

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a partial repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act that will apply only to health insurers. H.R. 3596, the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Act, is tentatively scheduled to come to the House floor week of Feb 14.