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June 1st, 2009
08:28 AM ET

GM Files for Bankruptcy

As business reporter Stephanie Elam said on our air, it's the biggest breaking news we've known about for months. But still, today is a milestone in the rise and fall of the American car industry. What do you think? Can GM be saved? Should GM be saved? Do you think 60 to 90 days of bankruptcy will be enough to transform GM into a healthy, competitive car company?
Post your comments below.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Fred

    It seems to me that we have to keep things in historical perspective. Watching 'How the Wheels Came Off" on the weekend, with Ali & Chrisitne, really drove this home for me. I can't help thinking that something so part and parcel of American ( & North American ) culture could not so easily disappear. On the other hand, it seems that some economists & commentators hit the nail on the head when they imply that the needs of the American worker to make ends meet and believe in their dreams of happiness will ultimately shape the story. People have to want to buy these cars, quite obviously. And it's pretty darn hard to think about a new car when your house is being foreclosed upon. The Car Industry exists for the People, not the People for the Car Industry. Just some thoughts.

    June 1, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  2. Karen

    I don't want to hear the whining from that schoolteacher who lost her bond money. 7 years ago I lost a quarter of my IRA when Enron went under. I learned to diversify. Don't blame GM, don't blame Obama. We've known for a while that this was going to happen. I know it sounds cold but I lost my job and a small business and I'm learning how to live in this world where you have to pick up every penny. See my struggle at http://www.myyearoflivingasapoorperson.blogspot.com.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  3. Scott Stodden

    Iam so sad that GM is filing for bankruptcy, such a terrible time for our country and the employees that work for GM. I think GM should be saved, can it be saved? I dont know. I really hope for the sake of all employees that they save this company. My prayers are with the GM employees that they can save there jobs. Heidi we all love you, keep doin what you do.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, IL)

    June 1, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  4. Rob

    Something we have been missing is that the oil companies and the car companies have been in cohoots for years. There is a reason that American cars are not fuel efficient. All along I said that if anyone should bail out the car companies it is the big oil companies who are making high profits quarterly.
    Will 90 days be enough? I doubt it, they were given all this money to begin with and it was a losing battle, and many of us knew this.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  5. char balch

    yes GM will prevail. as a saturn owner for atleast 10 years I hope to still owning my vue for the next 10 years. please governnment motors keep the parts and service there for us owners we are here and want to keep our saturns running.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  6. Dain

    Yes, G.M should and will get out of bankruptcy. they make more dependable cars and trucks than other car companies

    June 1, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  7. Bob Sember

    Since the goverment owns 60 to 70 percent of GM, (I here Different stoies) does that mean the employees that manage to surive are Federal Employees. And and if so will they get the same benefits as as federal employees. sounds like someone could make a good case.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  8. john meyer

    i would like to say a couple of things....i started work at GM at the tender age of 18, back in the 1970s. i came to Spring Hill TN 20 years ago to make the Saturn car. we were 'guaranteed' a 'job for life' if we uprooted our children and moved to Tennessee. I am now retired and unhealthy from years of working for GM when there were not the employee health concerns there are now. I started in a factory that was built in 1925. i worked in a central iron foundry where the soot would hang in the air. i have breathing issues and heart problems and they want to cut my health benefits after giving my work life and general health to GM. and finally, no one should be surprised by GM coming to a small town, building it up and then abandoning it. That is their unfortunate legacy.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  9. David A Whitaker

    Hey Tony, I definitely hope so I have always being a GM person. Also most of all of my family growing up, I think there needed to be a overhaul of the industry. Just like the banking industry, they needed this overhaul as well. Health care and the insurance industry, corporation has taking so much from the buyers there had to be a change.

    David Martinsburg, WV

    June 1, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  10. Luis

    Add me to the list of those that don't want to hear the schoolteacher whining about her lost. When you invest in bonds there is an inherent risk... you might win or you might loose... She needs to take responsibility for her failed investments and live with it. No one put a gun to her to buy those bonds. I lost a lot of money during the internet bubble burst... should I be asking the US government (Obama) for retroactive bail out?... If the whining school teacher is entitled to some sort of help... so should any investor that lost money on "any" past investments that went sour. I can understand bailing out folks that were duped into mortgage loans because they wanted to "own" a home, but for those that got mortgages as investments... I have no pity... just like I have no pity for the I messed up, but let-me-blame-it-on-Obama school teacher. .

    June 1, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  11. Charles L. Hopkins, SR.

    There's a lot of blame to go around for the auto industry's downfall. Many poor decisions by greedy ceo's who would not listen to the American public or the UAW suggestions, the federal government for allowing the outsourcing of American jobs which has led to our economic turmoil in America, and the disloyal American public who buy foreign made automobiles and other products or services. Japan, Germany, Korea and so forth killed and injured many soldiers and sailors in wars against the United States and now they receive our money from purchases of their products which Americans are killed and injured by in accidents and they don't even have to fire a shot. I will always buy American as long as I have blood running through my veins and if you're concerned about your taxpayer money being spent on an American business then you should probably support it since you have a financial interest in it.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  12. CHAD

    GM is closing lots of plants... But, where are the plants that are being closed? Are the plants in America the only ones being closed? We bailed them out shouldn't we be the last plants closed?

    June 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  13. John Babins

    why are the 4 GM plants in Mexico with 13,000 workers not affected by this bankrupcy, they should be required to close all foreign plants first, before the US plants.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  14. David

    Good Morning Heidi, Happy Birthday! I heard you and Rob Marciano talking about that last week so I thought I'd wish you a good one. And just talking about that again...Anyway things look stunning down there in Atlanta and I hope you have a great day.

    I worry about GM being in bankruptcy now two of the big three. The company seem poised to come out of it's financial troubles without having to go into bankruptcy, so maybe there is some additional economic vigor there. Having said that, the ripple effects of what GM and Chysler will do to get out of bankruptcy will be felt throughout the economy. Hopefully overall there is a strong turnaround for automakers to lean on a bit and boost sales. I was struck by the notion that with prices on cars going down in liquidation sales there may be an upturn for company profits. In other words, it might just work out.

    Very sad to hear about the Air France flight. Hoping for a miracle.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  15. Rowland Scarr

    Remember GM make smaller cars/models in Euorpe and have done so for years and years.
    They donot need in re-invent the wheel.
    Just start building them over here.
    Rowland
    Canada

    June 1, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  16. sandra

    The reason we don't buy American made vehicles is because of their poor quality. They can make small, large, blue or pink cars, but if they have to be Fixed Or Repaired Daily (FORD) then who wants them?
    Give me a high quality American auto like our foreign friends make and I will happily purchase one.

    June 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  17. Mike Schwab

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_&_Me 1989 documentary about the Flint MI Autoworker's jobs being outsourced to Mexico.
    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php Michael Moore's goodbye letter to GM.

    June 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  18. Evan Edwardsen

    I think gm should produce compressed air cars that have less parts, are cheaper, and air from scuba tanks can take one car 100 miles without refueling.

    June 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  19. Jan Bonner

    Best car I ever owned = 1969 Camero. Worst car I ever owned = 1986 Buick Century. It is tragic what has happened to our auto industry. President Obama's handling of this issue will make things worse.

    June 1, 2009 at 8:39 pm |
  20. steven

    This failure rests on the shoulders of the Unions. Why isn't there role being investigated in this mess... TIME FOR UNIONS TO GO!,

    June 1, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  21. dan in Tucson

    Bankruptcy for a bank is one thing, they sell a service. But for a company that sells a product is devastating. I cannot see them ever recovering from this, and I believe it is a first step to end the pensions for the 650,000 plus former employees. There is no interest left at the helm who cares about GM's future. It is now a money distribution, and whats left will be a shell of what once existed. They are done.

    June 2, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  22. C Browning

    It is sad in regard to any company failing. However; Gm workers and retirees GET OVER IT. I am from Arkansas and RETIRED from Whirlpool. I gave 25yrs. & my husband 32 yrs. and we have NO dental or eyeglass insurance & only recieve health insurance for 5 years as retirement. We have used 3 yrs. already. We pay monthly premiums & high deductibles as well as 20% of the bill. We have watched Whirlpool take hard hits over the years & also survive layoffs. It happens in manufacturing. You can survive IF you want too. Welcome to the rest of the hurting world.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  23. David

    I'm sorry but I was carried away by good spirits yesterday and so didn't answer your question. Yes, I think 60 to 90 days is enough for GM to emerge as a "healthy, competitive car company." Why not? The dealeship structure is already in place, and their is a support structure for parts there as well, so when 2 or 3 months time opens the door, there will be a fully functioning company.

    On another topic, I thought Sen Harry Reid was exactly right to say that Judge Sonia Sotomayor had the "full package" when it came to being a supreme court nominee. She has a rock solid resume of legal work, an impressive education in the law, and a beautiful way of expressing the most complicated legal questions and matters of judicial principal. As this is, as you noted, a "getting to know you" visit to the senate packed with meetings throughout the day, I was wondering what Ms. Sotomayor's view is of what's coming her way from the Senate. Is she pleased with her reception?

    June 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  24. Sean

    I personally believe that the U.S. must put a hold;stop all American car industries being made/ built. It does not make sense that American car industries such as GM and primarily Ford can opporate while not earning much revenue. If i was in President Obama's shoes, repesenting America with 60% stake in GM shares and with his Administration power i would stop all american car lines. Secondly, I would tell the CEO's to make a innovative plan to build a safe, clean eco-friendly vehical. A vehical that MUST compensate 40mpg for the city and 50 or so for the highway. This is not only for cars but as well as trucks, SUV and semis. The time to act is now. not in four years, not in 10 years, but the present. By the year 2020, 2025 the latest I would like to see all vehicals to look much like the vehicals in the Film "I Robot" which features Will Smith. It can be done.

    June 3, 2009 at 11:09 pm |

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