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The Takeaway

Stanley Cup: Will the Red Wings Cheer Up Detroit?

Friday, June 12, 2009

With the auto industry in crisis, Detroit residents are looking to their NHL team, the Red Wings, to bring a smile to their city. Tonight the Red Wings battle the Pittsburgh Penguins for hockey's Stanley Cup. The Takeaway talks to Red Wings fans Michele Rastelli and Jason Dritsan about the city's hopes for a win.

Highlights from Game 6:

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The Takeaway

Score! The NBA and NHL Finals with Ibrahim Abdul-Matin

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In hockey and basketball, the finals continue. The Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed a 2-to-1 victory over Detroit on the ice, forcing a Game 7 in the NHL's Stanley Cup finals. Meanwhile in the NBA, Orlando finally found its Magic touch, winning 108-104 over the Lakers last night. They'll face off in Game 4 on Thursday. We’re getting all the details — and predictions — from The Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin.

Watch highlights from Game 6 of the hockey final in the video below.

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The Takeaway

A GM Worker: From the Frontlines of the Bankruptcy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

With GM likely to declare bankruptcy on June 1st, autoworkers are gearing up for another round of bad news. How are the workers bracing themselves? The Takeaway talks to Will Marcum, who works on full-sized trucks for GM in Pontiac, Michigan.

For more of Will Marcum's thoughts on GM listen to his earlier interviews on The Takeaway.

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The Takeaway

Restructuring the Carmakers: What It Means for Consumers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Both GM and Chrysler will be restructuring their businesses under bankruptcy protection. After GM announced that it failed to convince bondholders to a debt-swap, the U.S. automaker appears heading towards insolvency. That could mean the federal government will get a 70% ownership stake in a post-chapter 11 General Motors. And Chrysler ended a marathon hearing in bankruptcy court Wednesday as it tries to get approval to sell its assets to Italian automaker Fiat. For the details of how two such large-scale bankruptcies work and what the aftermath could look like, The Takeaway talks to New York Times auto reporter Micheline Maynard and bankruptcy expert John Pottow, Law Professor at University of Michigan.

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The Takeaway

Presenting David Bing, Detroit's Mayor-elect

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Just yesterday, Detroit voters elected David Bing to be their new mayor. The former basketball star, now turned auto parts businessman, will serve the final eight months of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's term. Mr. Bing narrowly defeated the interim mayor, City Council President Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. He is expected to be sworn in next week, but before that, he stops by The Takeaway to talk about his hopes for the future of Detroit.

What else is on David Bing's resume? He was a Detroit Piston with a mean hook shot:

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The Takeaway

Motown's Mayor: Detroit Elects David Bing

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Detroit voters went to the polls yesterday to elect an interim mayor to finish out disgraced, ousted, and convicted Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's term. The winner? David Bing -- former star of the Detroit Pistons, turned local business leader. Despite trailing in the polls, Bing beat out Ken Cockrel, the man currently sitting in the mayor's office. The new mayor takes on a city in financial crisis. For more we turn to Noah Ovshinsky, a political reporter for WDET in Detroit, who has been covering the mayoral race.

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The Takeaway

Detroit heads to the polls

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The news is filled with stories of the economic beating Detroit, Michigan has taken lately, but the politics there aren't doing too well either. Today voters in Detroit will elect a new mayor after Kwame Kilpatrick was ousted from office and convicted of lying under oath. Two mayoral candidates, Dave Bing and Mayor Ken Cockrel, Jr., are hoping to breath new life into the politically-beleaguered city. Joining us with all the details of the race is Noah Ovshinsky, a political reporter for WDET in Detroit.

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The Takeaway

FIAT: A New Hope?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chrysler is going to drive on into the future... an uncertain future with a few glimmers of hope. As we have been reporting, last week the landmark American car brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and formed an alliance with Italian automaker, FIAT. FIAT will take an initial 20% stake in the company with incentives to take more. But will Fiat’s corporate culture mix with Detroit-style automaking? And how are the unions responding? To help answer those questions we are joined by Karl Ludvigsen, the former Executive Vice-President of FIAT North America.

One thing for American buyers to look forward to, George Clooney comes free with every FIAT:

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The Takeaway

A word of advice for the people at Chrysler

Monday, May 04, 2009

The future of the iconic American automaker isn’t so American anymore. Last week, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy and made a deal with the Italian automaker FIAT, which will control at least twenty percent of the company initially, and maybe more down the road. And there may even be a move to get GM’s German subsidiary, Opel in on a three-way deal.

So what lies on the road ahead for American autoworkers and their new Italian bosses? No one knows for sure, but when Japanese automakers Honda and Toyota set up shop in America in the 1980s, American autoworkers were asking similar questions. Joining The Takeaway to offer advice to workers facing a new era at Chrysler are two Americans who worked for Japanese car manufacturers. Jim Harbour worked for 28 years in the automotive industry as a manager and director in the engineering and financial services at Ford and Chrysler Corporation and Tim Garrett is the retired vice-president of administration at Honda.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's take on the auto bailout

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GM and Chrysler are in the throes of negotiations to avoid bankruptcy. GM’s CEO announced on Monday that the company will cut 21,000 more jobs, close 40% of its dealerships, and discontinue the Pontiac brand. Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter represents Michigan’s 11th district, west of Detroit. Unemployment is over 13% in his district, and now it looks like things are going to get worse. He join The Takeaway to discuss his perspective on the auto bailout and how he hopes the negotiations will pan out.
"I continue to support keeping as many people employed in Michigan and manufacturing as we possibly can. The alternative to not having this deal goes through is a bankruptcy liquidation."
—Rep. Thaddeus McCotter on a merger between Chrysler and Fiat

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The Takeaway

United Auto Workers set to ratify concessions with Chrysler

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Officials in the Obama administration have been negotiating with the leaders of Chrysler, Fiat and the United Auto Workers to find a way to salvage Chrysler. A deal has been tentatively reached that gives all parties an ownership stake in the company. In the deal, the UAW would get 55% of Chrysler’s stock, but that majority stake is in return for the latest round of concessions to the U.S. auto maker and now the U.S. government. But UAW members still have to ratify what their union leaders have agreed to and some aren’t biting this time. Two UAW members who will be heading out to vote on the plan today and are stopping by The Takeaway first. Ken Mefford is an hourly worker in Chrysler’s Warren Plant in Michigan and Stephanie Ramberger is a laid-off autoworker waiting to be put back on the job.

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The Takeaway

U.S. automakers facing federal deadlines

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chrysler and the United Auto Workers have reached an agreement that will allow the automaker to receive more federal funding. The deal eliminates some of the non-salary benefits the autoworkers had earned over the years, but even with these concessions it is likely that Chrysler will still seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Also in the deal is a partnership with Italian automaker Fiat, a collaboration which the U.S. government ordered.

Also in the news GM is expected to unveil its own federally-mandated reorganization plan. One unexpected item in the works? The shuttering of the company's storied Pontiac brand. To talk us through all of this upheaval in the car world is Micheline Maynard, senior business editor for the New York Times Senior Business Correspondent in Detroit.

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The Takeaway

Michigan State victory brings joy to Detroit

Monday, April 06, 2009

Everyone anticipated that the NCAA finals would bring an economic boost to Detroit. But the surprise victory of the Michigan State Spartans over UConn on Saturday has brought the troubled city more than money, and excitement about tonight's final against the North Carolina Tar Heels is intense. The Wall Street Journal's Tim Alberta will join John with a look at the benefits—economic and otherwise—of the Final Four for Detroit.

Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo hopes the Final Four and the success of the Spartans can give Detroit and Michigan a much-needed assist.

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The Takeaway

Can Fiat and Chrysler make it go go go?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

President Obama gave Chrysler until the end of April to finalize a deal with the Italian car company, Fiat. While the partnership may seem an unlikely pairing, Fiat was facing similar dire straits to Chrysler until a recent turnaround under new management. Is this the breath of fresh air that Chrysler needs? And how does this international team sound to Italy? To help answer that question we turn to David Willey, the BBC's Rome correspondent.

To find out more about Chrysler's potential partner, watch this classic Fiat advertisement.

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The Takeaway

From the frontlines of the auto shakeup: UAW workers weigh in

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

President Obama said it’s going to take sacrifices from all sides to successfully restructure the auto industry. Yesterday he unveiled his plan, which calls for replacing the leadership of GM and making sure that the America's carmakers forge ahead as leaner companies. But what do the autoworkers, the ones who tighten the nuts and bolts on every car that crosses the assembly line, make of this plan? The Takeaway is joined by Will Marcum and Terry Harden, longtime UAW workers in GM's assembly plant in Pontiac, Michigan.

Miss the President's address? Here it is:

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The Takeaway

From the frontlines of GM a UAW worker weighs in

Monday, March 30, 2009

Later today President Obama is set to unveil his new plan to revive the flailing U.S. auto industry. As part of the administration's strategy, GM CEO Rick Wagoner was asked to step down. What does his departure mean for GM workers? For GM's employees and unions this question weighs heavily on their minds. We are joined now by Will Marcum, a UAW autoworker in Detroit, who has been grappling with the ousting of his CEO.

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The Takeaway

Help, but no bailout, for auto suppliers

Friday, March 20, 2009

The U.S. Treasury will give five billion dollars to auto suppliers in a bid to inject liquidity into the struggling industry that employs 500,000 people in the U.S. But you can’t call this one a bailout. Automakers GM and Chrysler now have to decide which suppliers will survive and which will fail. The Takeaway talks to Justin Hyde, Washington Correspondent for the Detroit Free Press.

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The Takeaway

In annual report, GM considers bankruptcy

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Auditors for automaker General Motors are raising "substantial doubt" about whether the company will be able to continue operations. They say the company may need to file for bankruptcy protection if it can’t work out a successful restructuring plan in the face of mounting losses and huge debts. This news comes from the annual report GM filed with the SEC today. For what this means for Detroit, the nation, and the car industry, we turn to Jerome Vaughan, our friend and news director at WDET in Detroit.

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The Takeaway

Detroit mayoral primary expected to yield few voters

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today Detroiters head to the polls for a special mayoral primary to replace former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who left office under a hail of crime and scandal. When it comes to Detroit there is no denying that it is time for a change. The city has been burdened by political scandal, it’s facing a deficit that could approach $300 million, and unemployment rates are at a precipitous 10.7 percent. But voter turnout suggests change is beyond reach: Only 10-15 % of Detroit’s registered voters are expected to cast ballots today. For a look at what the stakes are with this special election and the dangers of voter apathy, we turn to Rochelle Riley, the Metro Columnist for The Detroit Free Press.

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The Takeaway

Ground zero Detroit: Auto industry, foreclosures, and the recession hit hard

Friday, February 20, 2009

Facing a triple threat from the spiraling economy, mortgage foreclosures and an ailing auto industry, President Obama began his economic counteroffensive this week. He signed a huge stimulus bill, was given a multi-billion dollar plan to restructure car makers and announced a $50 billion foreclosure rescue. All of these moves resonate in Detroit, a city struggling with foreclosures and ground zero of the auto industry meltdown. Jerome Vaughn is the News Program Director at WDET-FM in Detroit and he joins The Takeaway this morning.

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