All three newscasts covered the dire straits of the automobile industry. General Motors applied for a further federal loan of $16bn, in exchange promising to slim down to just four brands--Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC--laying off 30,000 workers and closing five north American plants. CNBC's Phil LeBeau, filing for NBC from Detroit, reported that the United Autoworkers have agreed to rework their labor contracts. ABC's Chris Bury (embargoed link) pointed to additional pressure on the UAW "to accept less money for retiree healthcare and take some of it in General Motors stock instead of cash." As for Chrysler, CBS' Anthony Mason publicized its cost cutting attempts: its corporate headquarters now have fewer clocks and lightbulbs and its hallways are now 4F cooler to save on heat.
Yet CBS' Mason put all that cost cutting in perspective: annual automobile sales two years ago were 16m, now they are 10m. "That volume has gone down enormously. If that 10m continues they are all going to be in trouble."
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