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This report reviews the U.S. automotive industry at present, aspects of the industry's financial situation, and relief options. It includes an analysis of the current situation in the U.S. automotive market, including efforts to address problems of long-term competitiveness and the impact of the industry on the broader U.S. economy. It focuses on financial issues, including credit questions, and legal and financial aspects of government-offered loans or loan guarantees. This further includes consideration of legacy issues, specifically pension and health care responsibilities of the Detroit 3. It also reviews potential solutions to the financial crisis, including options of government receivership and participation management, and various forms of bankruptcy. Finally, the report reviews stipulations that Congress might impose on auto m...
The U.S. motor vehicle manufacturing industry employs about 1 millions workers, or about 7.5% of the entire U.S. manufacturing workforce, including those who work in manufacturing parts and bodies, as well as those who assemble motor vehicles. Since 2000, the industry has eliminated about 300,000 manufacturing jobs, but the employment level is still almost as high as in 1990. By comparison, manufacturing in general has suffered a much higher rate of job loss. The Detroit-based U.S.-owned manufacturers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, collectively known as the “Big Three”), all of which are organized by the United Auto Workers union (UAW), have cut back domestic production by 3 million units since 2000, accounting for all the net employment losses. The shift in consumer preferences from trucks and SUVs to smaller vehicles has accele...
[Excerpt] The rapid growth of steel production and demand in China is widely considered as a major cause of continued high steel prices and prices of teelmaking inputs. Steel companies have achieved much greater pricing power, in part through an ongoing consolidation of the industry. High prices persist, despite the revocation in 2003 of President Bush’s broad safeguard order on imports. U.S. steel production in 2006 was 108 million tons. The integrated side of the industry continues to lose share domestically to the minimills. Imports rebounded in 2006 to reach the highest tonnage level ever, though they declined in 2007. Input prices, especially ferrous scrap and iron ore, remain high, meaning higher costs, which have been largely passed along to industrial consumers. China now produces 40% of the world’s steel and is the world’s lar...
[Excerpt] The three domestically owned U.S. manufacturers of cars and light trucks are requesting federal financial assistance in the form of “bridge loans” to assure their ability to continue in business. The companies, General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler (collectively known as the “Detroit 3”), have directly appealed to Congress for aid in a series of hearings that began in November 2008. The companies have been affected by a long-term decline in U.S. market share, the impact of a general decline in U.S. motor vehicle sales in 2008 that has impacted all producers, and the effects of a severe constriction of credit, resulting from problems in U.S. and global financial markets. The rise in gasoline prices to more than $4.00 a gallon in July 2008 caused a significant fall in vehicle use and miles driven, and a structural shift in mot...
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