Posted by: gmcquade | May 19, 2009

GM cutting jobs, dealerships and restructuring – Retail also hurting along with Hotel Business and Port Activity Slow

Look for fewer GM cars in the future - a legacy is dwindling each month.

Look for fewer GM cars in the future - a legacy is dwindling each month.

Last week both Chrysler and General Motors Corp. took steps to reduce their dealership networks in order to cut costs.  In Chrysler’s case the move was part of the restructuring plan submitted by the company to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (New York).  A hearing is scheduled for June 3 in which the court will decide whether or not to approve Chrysler’s motion.  General Motors soon followed suit announcing they would also seek to break contracts with a number of their dealerships.  While GM has not declared bankruptcy, they are running up against a deadline imposed by the federal government to offer a restructuring plan of their own. According to the letter sent by GM to dealers they defined as under performing, GM plans to terminate their contracts by 2010.  The letter also states that “planning in this regard is not finalized,” and invites dealers to submit information that would support an appeal of GM’s decision.  To date, Chrysler has received $4.8 billion in government aid and GM has taken in $15.4 billion. full articleU.S. retail sales fell by -0.4% in April, after a -1.3% decline in March and an increase in February (+0.4%).  Leading the way down were sales of electronics & appliance stores, falling by -2.8% over the month; gasoline stations (-2.3%); and food & beverage stores (-1.0%).  Five sectors (out of 14) registered higher sales in April, though the gains were modest:  health & personal care stores (+0.4%); building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers (+0.3%); sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores (also +0.3%); food services & drinking places (i.e., restaurants & bars, +0.2%); and motor vehicle & parts stores (also +0.2%). full article

Ports Downward Trend Continues

long view of the Port of Los Angeles when business was bustling just a few months ago. Photo by George Mc Quade.

long view of the Port of Los Angeles when business was bustling just a few months ago. Photo by George Mc Quade.

The total number of containers handled at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach dropped again in April by -19.0 percent to 940,829 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). This was the fifth month in a row of TEU totals below one million. The Port of Long Beach has suffered the most from the steep decline in world trade volumes as the number of loaded containers fell by -26.6 percent in April from the same month last year, with total TEUs dipping from 556,585 TEUs to 408,705 TEUs. The Port of Los Angeles fared better as total loaded containers handled fell by -12.1 percent from 605,466 TEUs to 532,124 TEUs. full article

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