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The above video is an interview with President Obama on December 20th, 2008 where the President candidly expresses his views on changes to the auto industry.

President Obama discusses plan for Auto Industry in his first press conference
Auto bailout terms 1 of 2
Auto bailout terms 2 of 2
"No jobs will be cut... (referring to bailout)" - Obama

Who is this automotive task force made up of?
The Treasury Department listed these automotive task force members:

• Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, a former Republican member of Congress

• Secretary of Commerce, not yet appointed (maybe Bill Richardson can still be snuck in there ...)

• Chair, Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer

• Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, secretary designate

• Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (an actual scientist in the president's Cabinet!)

• Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag

• Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson

• Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner

Listed as designees of the task force members:

• Diana Farrell, Deputy Director, National Economic Council

• Gene Sperling, Counselor to the Secretary of Treasury

• Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist to Vice President Joe Biden

• Edward Montgomery, Senior Adviser, Department of Labor

• Lisa Heinzerling, Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the EPA Administrator

• Justan Goolsbee, Chief Economist of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board

• Dan Utech, Senior Adviser to the Secretary of Energy

• Heather Zichal, Deputy Director, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change

• Joan DeBoer, Chief of Staff, Department of Transportation

• Rick Wade, Senior Adviser, Department of Commerce

GM says it will ax 1,100 dealers None will be eliminated today, official says By TIM HIGGINS • FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER • May 15, 2009

This morning, General Motors (NYSE: GM) revealed details of its accelerated manufacturing
plan -- the consequences of which will see operations cease at three parts distribution
centers and 14 plants. Seven of the GM plant closures are in Michigan. Full details, per
the announcement, follow:
Gm Manufacturing Optimization Plan Actions
Plant, Status / Timing (date listed or sooner depending on market demand)
Assembly
Orion, Mich., Standby Capacity / September 2009
Pontiac, Mich., Close / October 2009
Spring Hill, Tenn., Standby Capacity / November 2009
Wilmington, Del., Close / July 2009
Stamping
Grand Rapids, Mich., Close / June 2009 (previously announced)
Indianapolis, Ind., Close / December 2011
Mansfield, Ohio, Close / June 2010
Pontiac, Mich., Standby Capacity / December 2010
Powertrain
Livonia Engine, Mich., Close / June 2010
Flint North Components, Mich., Close / December 2010
Willow Run Site, Mich., Close / December 2010
Parma Components, Ohio, Close / December 2010
Fredericksburg Components, Va., Close / December 2010
Massena Castings, N.Y., Closed / May 1, 2009 (previously announced)
Service & Parts Operations Warehousing & Parts Distribution Centers
Boston, Mass., Close / Dec. 31, 2009
Jacksonville, Fla., Close / Dec. 31, 2009
Columbus, Ohio, Close / Dec. 31, 2009

General Motors today announced it would inform about 1,100 dealers — or 18% of its 5,969 stores — that the automaker no longer “sees them as part of its dealer network on a long-term basis.”

 “This process starts today, as GM begins contacting dealers regarding its long-term planning,” the company said in a statement.

GM said that, in most cases, existing franchise agreements run through October 2010.

The troubled automaker described the dealers being let go as “underperforming” and having “very small sales.”


“We have said from the beginning that our dealers are not a problem, but an asset for General Motors,” said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of sales service and marketing, in a statement. “However it is imperative that a healthy, viable GM have a healthy, viable dealer body that cannot only survive but prosper during cyclical downturns. It is obvious that almost all parts of GM, including the dealer body, must get smaller and more efficient.”

What’s more, about 470 Saturn, Hummer and Saab dealers will soon be updated on the status of those brands. GM is trying to sell or wind down those brands.

“While additional cuts will be made, we believe the vast majority, over 90%, of the remaining dealers will be offered a chance to remain with GM,” the company said. “However, specific dealer issues, further attrition and additional possible dealer network actions are expected to bring the number of future GM dealers to around 3,600 by the end of 2010.”

GM said it would not release the names of any dealers being cut. “As independently owned businesses, dealer owners will make their own decisions if and when they want to make this information public,” the company said.

LaNeve added: “We are not terminating any dealerships today.”

AutoNation Inc., the country’s largest automotive retailer, said GM had notified it that six of its dealerships had been identified for possible closure.

The Florida-headquartered company said the potentially impacted stores represent “zero percent” of AutoNation’s 2008 operating income.

“We believe GM's consolidation plan is a difficult but positive step that will strengthen America's dealer network and improve dealer profitability over the long term," said Mike Jackson, AutoNation chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The dealer reductions are part of GM’s plans to reorganize the company in an effort to make it viable in the long term. The company is staying afloat on $15.4 billion in federal government loans and needs another $11.6 billion to keep going.

It faces a June 1 deadline to restructure its debt outside of court or else go into bankruptcy, something GM CEO Fritz Henderson has said is more probable then not of occurring.

GM said that, in most cases, existing franchise agreements run through October 2010.

The troubled automaker described the dealers being let go as “underperforming” and having “very small sales.”

“We have said from the beginning that our dealers are not a problem, but an asset for General Motors,” said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of sales service and marketing, in a statement. “However it is imperative that a healthy, viable GM have a healthy, viable dealer body that cannot only survive but prosper during cyclical downturns. It is obvious that almost all parts of GM, including the dealer body, must get smaller and more efficient.”

What’s more, about 470 Saturn, Hummer and Saab dealers will soon be updated on the status of those brands. GM is trying to sell or wind down those brands.

“While additional cuts will be made, we believe the vast majority, over 90%, of the remaining dealers will be offered a chance to remain with GM,” the company said. “However, specific dealer issues, further attrition and additional possible dealer network actions are expected to bring the number of future GM dealers to around 3,600 by the end of 2010.”

GM said it would not release the names of any dealers being cut. “As independently owned businesses, dealer owners will make their own decisions if and when they want to make this information public,” the company said.

LaNeve added: “We are not terminating any dealerships today.”

AutoNation Inc., the country’s largest automotive retailer, said GM had notified it that six of its dealerships had been identified for possible closure.

The Florida-headquartered company said the potentially impacted stores represent “zero percent” of AutoNation’s 2008 operating income.

“We believe GM's consolidation plan is a difficult but positive step that will strengthen America's dealer network and improve dealer profitability over the long term," said Mike Jackson, AutoNation chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The dealer reductions are part of GM’s plans to reorganize the company in an effort to make it viable in the long term. The company is staying afloat on $15.4 billion in federal government loans and needs another $11.6 billion to keep going.


It faces a June 1 deadline to restructure its debt outside of court or else go into bankruptcy, something GM CEO Fritz Henderson has said is more probable then not of occurring.


Contact TIM HIGGINS: at
thiggins@freepress.com.