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Which GM dealerships are closing?

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General Motors said it will drop about 1,600 U.S. dealers as it struggles to slash billions of dollars in costs and debts. But our Detroit photographer Rebecca Cook reports that, unlike Chrysler, GM does not intend to release to the media a list of dealers hit by the closure plans. Chrysler disclosed in court documents on Thursday the identities of the 789 dealerships it wants to terminate under the bankruptcy process.

Affected GM dealers received letters by express mail on Friday morning informing them that the automaker did not see how it could have a “productive business relationship” after 2010.

GM is telling journalists to find out for themselves which dealerships are closing.  Our reporters around the country are working their sources and calling local dealers for information. Readers can help us. If you have any information on which dealerships face the ax, drop us a comment below or email tradingplaces at reuters.com.

from Richard Baum:

Condolences for Chrysler

When I moved to North America in 2004, I knew immediately what car I wanted to own: a Chrysler PT Cruiser. Its retro-design captured the romance of the automobile in a uniquely American way, giving it character that I felt was missing from so many modern cars.

It's a small, fuel-efficient car that combines classic design aesthetics with today's environmental priorities. But its harkening to a golden age is also a statement on the cultural significance of the auto industry in the U.S., where writers from Jack Kerouac to Bruce Springsteen have long linked the freedom of the road with the freedom of the nation.

Beggars’ Banquet: Auto execs on the Hill

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Hat in hand, the top executives of Detroit’s Big Three drove into Washington and were back on Capitol Hill, hoping to convince lawmakers to bail them out. They pledged to refocus on higher fuel efficiency and lower production costs to gain billions of dollars in emergency cash. Whether they succeed in getting taxpayer money to help cure their ills remains to be seen.

What do you think? Have the Big Three auto executives done enough in the past week to convince you they should get the money? What more should they do?

Fill ‘er up: Cheap gas

With oil plunging to record lows, and the average retail price for gas sinking to less than $2, will Americans rekindle their love affair with trucks and SUVs?

Falling gasoline prices are putting extra money in the pockets of consumers, but there is also some concern that drivers may return to their gas-guzzling vehicles.

Are you taking advantage of cheaper gas prices? Could this be the second coming of gas-guzzling vehicles, or is this simply a brief reprieve? Share you cheap gas strategies.

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