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A Brief History of the Detroit Auto Crisis

A Brief History of the Detroit Auto Crisis

Detroit was once a haven for prosperity and American-grown innovation thanks to its booming auto industry. But in 2008, this image changed as the “Big Three” auto manufacturers – General Motors, Chrysler and Ford – began to face catastrophic losses, known as the Detroit Auto Crisis. The Big Three, looking to earn high profit margins on their cars, focused their attention on SUVs and pickup trucks, cars with low fuel efficiency, which became unpopular as gas prices soared. Once gas prices tipped above $4 a gallon, gas-guzzling cars became totally undesirable, and the Big Three saw historic losses. High gas prices coupled with the stock market crash in September 2008 all but crippled the Big Three, particularly General Motors. In November 2008, General Motors’ Chief Executive pled before Congress for support. In December, the company was granted a $13.4 loan. Sales continued to plummet for the Big ... read more


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