5 Years Later
'5 Years Later' is an occasional series looking back at the industry's collapse of 2008-09.
BILL LIA: Keep stores modernMon, 20, Oct 2014
"People keep asking us for our store designs," says Bill Lia, the 78-year-old CEO of Lia Auto Group in Albany, N.Y., which just finished building its 19th dealership. "We want to keep everything modern and up to date."
Timeline: Regrowing painsMon, 20, Oct 2014
A look back at the events of August, September and October, 2009
A long, painful tripMon, 20, Oct 2014
U.S. auto dealers have been on a difficult, painful journey for the past five years. But it has been a positive one -- at least in the aggregate. That qualifier is important.
MIKE WOOD: How hard are you willing to work?Mon, 20, Oct 2014
Long hours and hard work in the past few years turned Mike Wood from a dealership manager into a dealer with four stores. The market has been loaded with acquisition opportunities, he says, provided the buyer is willing to put in the sweat and hustle.
JERRY VITZTHUM: Out, in and then back out againMon, 20, Oct 2014
Ask former small-town car dealer Jerry Vitzthum whether the auto industry is better or worse today than it was before the national economic crisis, and he shrugs.
Dealers pursued opportunities from the rubble of '09Mon, 20, Oct 2014
In the five years that have passed since the economic crash of 2009, the auto retailing sector has emerged from the ashes. The transition has been painful. There are fewer car dealers in 2014. Many have been pressed by automakers to invest in new stores. But what was a bitter industry shakeout for some in 2009 has led to better times in auto retailing in 2014 for others.
'Cash for clunkers opened up the floodgates'Sun, 27, Jul 2014
The Car Allowance Rebate System, also known as cash for clunkers, was a lifeline at a desperate time for the U.S. auto industry. Nearly 700,000 vehicles were traded in through the nearly $3 billion program, which provided consumers as much as $4,500 each to trade in an old gas guzzler for a more fuel efficient new model.
June, July 2009 timeline: Beginning of recoveryMon, 28, Jul 2014
A look back at the events of June and July, 2009.
Inside GM's path to survivalMon, 02, Jun 2014
Five years ago this week, General Motors Corp. -- long a symbol of America's industrial might -- sought bankruptcy protection. Work on what would become the bankruptcy road map began within GM before outgoing President George W. Bush kept the automaker alive with a first round of U.S. rescue loans, contends Jay Alix, founder of AlixPartners, a corporate turnaround specialist with long ties to GM.
A slightly different take on GM's discredited CEOSun, 30, Mar 2014
For nearly 17 years Richard Wagoner was either in command and control at GM or else part of a tiny klatch of executives running the company. Not since Alfred Sloan had one executive held so much power for so long at GM.
Rick Wagoner: Amiable introvert in extrovert's jobMon, 31, Mar 2014
General Motors' former CEO Rick Wagoner was undoubtedly the Sisyphus of the auto industry.
A look back at the Wagoner legacyMon, 31, Mar 2014
Rick Wagoner's forced departure from General Motors five years ago this week took some getting used to. He had been at or near the pinnacle of power at GM for 17 years. For eight years he was the company's CEO. Then, suddenly, it was over.
An alpha exec hemmed in by GM's massive troublesMon, 31, Mar 2014
Sometime in the prior decade I was part of a bleary-eyed band of journalists arriving in Tokyo during a General Motors press trip.
Cheesey key told a sad storyMon, 31, Mar 2014
What I recall about the Rick Wagoner years boils down to a key.
2009 Timeline: March massacreMon, 31, Mar 2014
A timeline of the events that made up the industry collapse
GM, Chrysler bounce back from the brinkMon, 24, Feb 2014
General Motors' comeback from near-collapse has been faster and stronger than most experts believed it could be.
2009 timeline: February meltdownMon, 24, Feb 2014
A timeline of the events that made up the industry collapse.
The end of the Jobs Bank, a symbol of excessMon, 27, Jan 2014
Perhaps nothing did more to damage the reputation of the UAW -- and the U.S. automakers that employed its members -- than the Jobs Bank, a program that paid excess workers to do nothing all day.
2008 Timeline: Dark DecemberMon, 16, Dec 2013
A 2008 December calendar full of deadlines and disappointments.
From 'lifeline' to 'worst' fear: How the rescue was viewedSun, 15, Dec 2013
The U.S. Treasury Department's sale last week of its final shares of GM stock hasn't erased controversy over the bailout that gave Treasury a stake in the nation's biggest automaker. As reader comments on Web stories about the sell-off show, the bailout remains a sore point with some Americans.
On the air: Bob Lutz, Mike Jackson, and more offer perspectives on the crashMon, 04, Nov 2013
Automotive News sat down with key industry insiders and our own editors to talk about what it was like during this dark period for the automotive industry.
'Hell on wheels,' five years laterSun, 03, Nov 2013
Five years ago this week, the unthinkable became a screaming headline: General Motors, for most of its centurylong existence the symbol of American industrial might, announced it was about to go broke.
Gales of NovemberMon, 04, Nov 2013
The global financial crisis made November 2008 a month to remember.
Sykora: 'This is your life'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
Texas dealer Annette Sykora testified at the congressional hearings in which Detroit 3 CEOs faced hostile questioning.
Sprague: 'There are still customers'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America's executive vice president of marketing, had only been with the brand for a few months before the crisis — which Kia saw as an opportunity. It was one of only three brands to increase U.S. sales in 2009.
Lutz: 'A huge missed opportunity'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
To this day, former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz feels the combination would have been a winner.
Lombard: 'GM was blowing through cash'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
'You knew the way GM was blowing through cash that they were going to run out of cash.'
Leuliette: 'It was hell on wheels'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
In 2008, Tim Leuliette was CEO of Dura Automotive. Earlier that year, the supplier had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
LaSorda: 'Whole deck of cards' foldedMon, 04, Nov 2013
Tom LaSorda, then-president of Chrysler, was working with owner Cerberus to try to sell Chrysler — which he says was churning cash until the bottom fell out.
Krafcik: 'We were hurting'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik says cash-flow problems quickly hit the brand's dealers — and Hyundai itself.
Jackson: 'Teetering on the brink'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
Mike Jackson, CEO of the AutoNation dealership group, says Detroit 3 bosses thought they had time to fix their business model. Some were wrong.
De Koker: 'The worst moment'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
Neil De Koker joined GM in 1962, when insiders were shooting for 60 percent of the U.S. market. Nearly a half century later, as head of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, he was in Washington, watching GM CEO Rick Wagoner and his peers petition Congress for bailout funds. The fate of his member companies hinged on the survival of the Detroit 3.
Corker: 'Bankruptcy was the best route'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker jumped into the debate on the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.
Cannon: Credit 'was essentially frozen'Mon, 04, Nov 2013
Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon recalls how the crisis threatened his brand, which might have seemed insulated from Detroit's problems. Cannon was head of Mercedes' marketing in 2008.