Ford, Chrysler, and GM executives asked Congress once again for help bailing out their businesses. Before they headed to the Hill, automakers announced November sales results today. Total sales are the lowest we've seen in more than twenty-five years. When the stock market opened today, Ford was up than 6 percent and GM was up more than 11 percent. Anticipating an auto-industry bailout, Ford, Chrysler, and GM told congress they would cut executive pay, reduce worker benefits, and focus on more fuel efficient cars. In return for the twenty-five billion dollars in loans they want, the companies would give the government stock. Economists say a bailout will lead to major auto industry changes. UNCW senior economist Woody Hall said, “I think you're going to see increased emphasis on fuel efficiency, you're going to see increased emphasis on alternative fuel vehicles, and you are going to see some drastic changes in the types of vehicles that are available for the consumer, and I believe the consumer will buy them.” Car companies hope that's the case, especially after reporting declining sales for the third consecutive month in November. Ford sales were down thirty-one percent, but that paled in comparison to GM's forty-one percent decline. Hall stated, “You've got an excess supply of vehicles on dealer lots. You've got reduced traditional financing mainly from banks and now dealers are looking for alternative financing. And then you've got a lot of uncertainty among the buying public.” Many members of congress hope to save the auto giants because they have a larger impact on the economy. Hall continued, “For every one worker employed by the big three there are estimates that there are five supporting jobs out there. So the ripple effect, the domino effect could be quite substantial.” WWAY tried to speak to some local dealers to find out how they've been affected, but more than a dozen dealerships we called would not talk on camera. But as part of their plan announced in Washington today, some executives said they planned to drastically reduce the number of dealerships across the country. GM alone plans to eliminate more than 17 hundred dealerships.
Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.