Absent additional government aid, it is possible that General Motors, the largest American automaker which began in 1908, will have to file for Chapter 11 protection in short order. This despite the fact that it will have shed around 50,000 jobs, closed 14 plants in the next few years, and eliminated such iconic American nameplates as Pontiac. GM's stock price is in free fall: it closed at $1.86 per share, down 34 cents or 15.5%.
I was at the Cleveland Auto Show Wednesday for NASCAR night. Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth was there signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, as were other big names such as Clint Bowyer and A.J. Allmendinger. The crowd was sparse to say the least. The Chrysler exhibit was a ghost town--it gave me an eery feeling. The GM exhibits weren't much better. Of the American automakers, only Ford had a crowd and seemed to spark any enthusiasm.