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General Motors: Timeline

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General Motors: Timeline

A Look At Major Dates In The History Of The Historic Auto Company
© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

June 1, 2009

GM files for Chapter 11 bankrupcy protection in a deal that will give taxpayers a 60 percent ownership stake and expand the government's reach into big business. It's the fourth-largest bankrupcy filing in U.S. history, and the largest for an industrial company. The company said it has $172.81 billion in debt and $82.29 billion in assets.

May 27, 2009

GM says debt exchange offer has failed. Bankruptcy appears likely, as GM tries to get all parties to agree to new, leaner terms before June 1. Government loans now total $19.4 billion.

May 26, 2009

United Auto Workers agrees to job cuts, 14 plant closures and a 20 percent equity stake in the company to cover retiree health care costs. Members are expected to vote on the changes by the end of the week.

May 15, 2009

GM says it will end contracts with about 1,100 dealers.

May 7, 2009

GM reports a first quarter loss of $6 billion, with revenue falling by more than half.

April 27, 2009

GM asks 90 percent of its bondholders to participate in a debt-for-equity swap to rid the company of $24 billion by giving them 225 shares for every $1,000 in bond for a combined 10 percent stake in the company. Existing shareholders would end up with 1 percent of the company following the issuance of 62 billion new shares and a 100-for-1 reverse stock split.

The company also announces it will end the Pontiac line.

March 30, 2009

President Barack Obama, a day after firing CEO Rick Wagoner, tells GM it hasn't done enough to restructure and gives the company until June 1 to make aggressive cuts.


The Obama administration takes office in January. On Feb. 17, GM says it will need a total of $30 billion and its Saab unit files for bankruptcy in Sweden.

In its restructuring plan presented to the U.S. government, GM say it will only keep Saturn running through 2011, but it's open to the possibility of spinning off the money-losing brand to retailers or investors. Discussions are ongoing.


Gas prices hit $4 per gallon and truck sales plummet. GM announces plan to close four pickup and sport utility vehicle factories and plans to shed 8,350 jobs. The Hummer brand is put up for sale.

By fall, executives begin asking congressional leaders for aid. GM and Chrysler talk about a merger, but talks die down as both companies' sales continue to fall on U.S. and worldwide recession woes.

By December, GM tells Congress it needs $18 billion to stay afloat. It receives $13.4 billion, and racks up a $30.9 billion annual loss and burns through $19.2 billion.

GM loses $38.7 billion, including $39 billion third-quarter charge for unused tax credits. It's the largest annual loss in auto industry history.


Last model year for Oldsmobile.


Purchases rights to the Hummer brand from AM General.


Strikes at two Michigan parts plants shut down almost all North American production.


GM launches Saturn, takes $2.1 billion charge for four plant closings, and profits fall to $102 million as auto sales plummet.


GM complies with federal regulations and equips about 15 percent of its fleet with driver's air bags, blames devices for boosting car prices. Profits fall to $4.2 billion.


GM loses more than $750 million as car and truck sales plunge 26 percent.


GM's U.S. employment peaks at 618,365, making it the largest private employer in the country. Worldwide employment is 853,000. Decade features sales decline, recession, Arab oil embargo and gains by Japanese automakers.


Reacting to invasion of small European cars, GM introduces Chevrolet Corvair. The car is later attacked by Ralph Nader. His book, "Unsafe at Any Speed," led to congressional auto safety hearings.


GM's U.S. market share reaches 54 percent. Company makes 50 millionth car.


Workers strike for 113 days.


Civilian auto production halted and plants turned to war effort.


Violent sit-down strikes by GM hourly workers in Flint, Mich., shake the company and lead to United Auto Workers representation.


GM accounts for 12 percent of U.S. car market.


GM shifts most truck production to war effort.


GM incorporated as General Motors Corp. Durant, after founding company that builds Chevrolets, regains control.


Durant brings the Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Cadillac, Champion Ignition, AC Spark Plug and other companies into GM.


GM sells 25,000 cars and trucks.

Sept. 16, 1908

General Motors Company founded by William C. Durant.

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