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April 2009 timeline: Cruel month

Automakers report a 37% decline in U.S. sales in March, including drops of 45% for General Motors and 39% for Chrysler. GM warns the Treasury Department that it now expects to lose $1.1 billion more in 2009 than it had estimated in February.

Ford Motor Co. says it reduced debt by $10 billion through a trio of restructuring initiatives.

GM says it will cut 1,600 salaried jobs within a week as it works to meet a June 1 restructuring deadline.

GM says it will be unable to make a $1 billion debt payment due June 1 and that most of its U.S. plants will be closed for up to 9 weeks over the summer to cut costs and inventories.

GM receives an additional $2 billion in government loan funds. Ford posts a $1.4 billion 1st-quarter loss and says its cash burn slowed to $3.7 billion from $5.5 billion in the previous quarter. The Canadian Auto Workers union agrees to concessions with Chrysler that would save $240 million annually.

GM submits a revised viability plan accelerating cuts to its U.S. dealership network, calling for the closure of 13 more plants and shrinking its U.S. lineup to 4 brands, including a shutdown of Pontiac. UAW leaders unanimously approve labor concessions that allow the union’s retiree health care trust to take a majority stake in Chrysler and help Chrysler qualify for more government loans.

Treasury Department reaches tentative debt-reduction deal with Chrysler’s main creditors. Honda Motor Co. posts its 1st quarterly loss in 15 years.

Chrysler files for bankruptcy protection and agrees to form an alliance with Fiat S.p.A. Chrysler switches its retail and wholesale financing provider to GMAC from Chrysler Financial.



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