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Archived Auto News and Events for April 2009

Minicar Frontal Crash Tests Show Head And Leg Injuries
The IIHS, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an educational organization, funded by insurance companies which conducts studies to reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage from auto accidents.
Honda Posts First Quarterly Loss in 15 Years
For the quarter ending March 31, Honda Motor Co. posted a loss, the company's first in 15 years, but still managed a profit for the entire fiscal year and projects profits for the new accounting year that opened on April 1.
Chrysler, UAW Reach Tentative Agreement
Late on Monday April 27, United Auto Workers leaders approved an agreement with Chrysler LLC that would reduce the troubled automaker's cash payments into the union retiree health-care trust in exchange for a 55% stake in the company's planned partnership with Fiat.
GM Announces Demise of Pontiac, New Job Cuts, Bondholder Offer
On Monday, April 27, General Motors announced the planned phase-out of its Pontiac brand, the elimination of 23,000 jobs by 2011, and a 40% reduction of its dealer network in a last-ditch effort to avoid bankruptcy proceedings.
Ford Posts Loss But Slows Cash Burn
The Ford Motor Co. went through $3.7 billion in cash for the first quarter of 2009, posting its fourth quarterly loss in a row, but the company, still operating without federal loans, is slowing its cash burn.
AutoNation Posts Profit Amid Industry Slump
Although light vehicle sales in the United States are at 25-year lows, the largest dealership group in the country, AutoNation Inc., posted a first-quarter net income of $34.6 million.
Chrysler Supplying Electric Test Fleet to USPS
In an announcement timed with Earth Day, Chrysler LLC has announced that it will provide 250 all-electric Town and Country concept minivans to the United States Postal Service.
Chrysler, GM to Receive More Funds as Rescue Efforts Continue
As Chrysler LLC attempts to continue to forge an alliance with Fiat, the Obama administration will make approximately $500 million available to the company, while embattled General Motors Corp.
Changan Autos of China Contemplating U.S., European Acquisitions
The crisis in the American auto industry may create an opportunity for new entrants into the North American and European markets, including Ford Motor's China partner, Chongqing Changan Auto Co.
GM's Henderson Says No Bankruptcy Decision Made Yet
In a morning teleconference with journalists reported by Automotive News Fritz Henderson, newly appointed General Motors CEO, said no decision has been reached about a filing for bankruptcy protection although preparations are being made should that move become necessary.
Pontiac and GMC May Fall to Cost Cutting Ax
As General Motors faces a June 1 deadline to restructure under federal oversight, the company may ditch its GMC and Pontiac , brands to achieve deeper cost cuts, according to a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday, April 15.
Fiat, Chrysler Partnership Talks Endangered by Labor Issues
The CEO of Fiat S.p.a, Sergio Marchionne, said his company will walk away from a proposed partnership with Chrysler LLC unless the carmaker's unions accept considerable labor cost reductions by the end of the month.
Mini Cars Perform Poorly in Front Crash Testings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that minicars made by Toyota , Honda, and Daimler AG all performed poorly on frontal crash tests with mid-sized automobiles, collapsing on impact into the space around the driver.
GM Bondholders Protesting Potential Bankruptcy
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal , General Motors' bondholders are drawing up legal arguments against the company's bankruptcy plan that would divide GM into "good" and "bad" halves.
Government to Make Largest Fleet Purchase in History
In a statement issued by the White House on Friday, April 10, the government revealed its intent to purchase 17,600 fuel-efficient vehicles from the Detroit Bit Three by June 1, including 2,500 hybrid sedans by April 15, adding further stimulus to the automotive sector while cutting federal gasoline consumption by 1.3 million gallons annually.
Three Bidders Vie for Hummer
Although GM has not commented on the report, Automotive News cited "two sources with knowledge of the matter" who said on Wednesday, April 8 that three bidders remain in contention to purchase General Motors' Hummer , line with offers ranging from $100 million to $200 million in cash and other commitments.
Treasury Announces Aid to Suppliers
The U.S. Treasury Department has announced supplier support programs backed by government funds for both Chrysler LLC and General Motors that will guarantee receivables owed for any goods shipped after March 19.
GM, Segway Partner to Build PUMA
General Motors has announced a partnership with the trendy, personal transport company Segway to build a two-wheeled vehicle designed to relieve congested urban conditions.
Ford Brings Debt Down by $9.9 Billion
The Ford Motor Co. has announced financial moves that have successfully reduced its debt by 38 percent or approximately $9.9 billion. The company's annual expenses for cash interest will fall by more than $500 million.
Splitting up GM into Good and Bad
In an interview for Automotive News by Jamie Lareau, General Motors Chairman Kent Kresa said he believes the company can restructure successfully without a bankruptcy.
GM Seeks Federal Loans for Volt Spin-Offs
In an update of its business plan, General Motors is asking the federal government for low interest loans totaling $2.6 billion to develop three new hybrid vehicles , .
GM Seems Headed for Controlled Bankruptcy Under Government Direction
Reports are swirling in the news media that the federal government will likely direct General Motors toward what is being called a "controlled" bankruptcy by getting some creditors to come on board with a plan that would divide the company in half.
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