2009 Timeline: March massacre

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March 3: Automakers report that U.S. sales fell 41 percent in February, including declines of 53 percent for General Motors and 48 percent for Ford Motor Co. Chrysler's sales fall 44 percent amid reports of incentive spending hitting a record $5,566 per vehicle. The seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate plunges to 9.05 million, the lowest since December 1981 and second-lowest on record.

March 5: Ford says it plans to cut North American production by 42 percent in the second quarter.

March 11: Ford says a deal with the UAW that suspends bonuses and cost-of-living payments will save $500 million a year.

March 12: GM withdraws a request for $2 billion in additional government funding, saying it had made more progress on cost cuts than expected.

March 19: The Obama administration says it will create a $5 billion fund to help troubled suppliers.

March 25: GM begins laying off salaried workers as part of a plan to shrink its white-collar work force by 10,000.

March 26: GM says 7,500 hourly workers, or 12 percent of its U.S. factory work force, accepted the latest round of buyouts, bringing the total number of voluntary departures to more than 60,000 over three years.

March 30: GM CEO Rick Wagoner resigns at the request of the Obama administration and is replaced by COO Fritz Henderson. The U.S. auto task force rejects Chrysler's restructuring plan, saying it cannot be viable as a stand-alone company. Obama says the federal government will guarantee GM and Chrysler warranties.

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