Crunch time for autos

The global autos industry is in crisis. Demand for new cars has collapsed as consumers shy away from major purchases in the current recession, forcing up inventories of unsold vehicles. With little cash coming in and plenty still going out, carmakers have been forced to cut production and make widespread redundancies. In February alone, BMW, Bentley, Peugeot, Nissan, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler all announced job cuts at various plants. The first sales figures for 2009 made dismal reading:

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