2008 Timeline: Dark December

Ford CEO Alan Mulally is flanked by UAW then-President Ron Gettelfinger, left, and Chrysler then-CEO Bob Nardelli during a Dec. 4, 2008, Senate Banking Committee hearing on the auto industry. Mulally, Nardelli and GM then-CEO Rick Wagoner drove to Washington in hybrid vehicles to appear before Congress.

Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
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2: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors submit turnaround plans to Congress, requesting loans totaling up to $34 billion. Automakers report U.S. new-vehicle sales plunged 37 percent in November to the lowest level since 1982.

3: UAW President Ron Gettelfinger says the union had agreed to suspend the Jobs Bank at GM and make other contract concessions to help the Detroit 3.

4: CEOs of the Detroit 3 appear before Congress after driving the 525 miles to Washington in hybrid vehicles.

8: GM publishes an ad in Automotive News apologizing for quality and designs that "disappointed" and "betrayed" customers.

9: Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Alan Mulally disclose that the company does not need government help to survive.

11: U.S. Senate abandons efforts to reach an auto-bailout deal after Republicans refuse to support a bill backed by the Bush administration.

12: The Bush administration says it is preparing to intervene and offer aid to prevent GM and Chrysler from collapsing.

13: President Bush announces plans to loan up to $17.4 billion to GM and Chrysler, which would have until March 31, 2009, to show that they are viable long term.

Chrysler permanently closes its assembly plant in Newark, Del., where 1,100 employees built the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen, and begins a monthlong shutdown at all remaining U.S. plants.

23: Production ends at GM SUV plants in Janesville, Wis., and Moraine, Ohio, where 2,600 were employed.

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