GM will reduce its dealer network by 42 percent to just 3,600 from the over 6,000 dealers it had in 2008. The automaker will be cutting its hourly work force down to 40,000 employees - a shadow of the days when GM had hundreds of thousands of worker.

GM is quickly disassembling itself in a last-ditch bid to avoid declaring bankruptcy. But all the desperation is making a Chapter 11 filing for the troubled Detroit automaker seem all the more likely.

Today, GM confirmed that is was, indeed, scrapping the Pontiac brand, after days of leaks and speculation. The Pontiac brand will be phased out by next year.

GM also plans to sell-off, if it can, or shut down its Saab, Hummer and Saturn divisions. But selling any of those brands seems increasingly unlikely as no serious bids have emerged in the months since the automotive crisis began.

GM also announced it was dramatically reducing its workforce once again. It will be cutting a total of 21,000 jobs to reduce its hourly workforce to 40,000 - a shadow of the days when GM employed hundreds of thousands. That figure includes an additional 7,000 on top of the job cuts previously announced in February.

The automaker will also be reducing its dealer network from the 6,246 dealers it had in 2008 to 3,605 by 2010.

Re-negotiating its unsecured debt with bondholders is another part of GM's severe downsizing measures. It has offered bondholders 10 percent of GM equity in addition to accrued interest. If bondholders don't accept the deal, GM will likely be forced into bankruptcy. And, in what may seem the most desperate move yet, GM is in talks with the US Treasury to swap 50 percent of its government debt for equity in a deal that would leave current shareholders with only 1 percent of the company.

Is that a fat lady singing?


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