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Section: Business News - In the largest industrial bankruptcy ever seen in U.S. history, General Motors Corp., the top U.S. automaker and once the world's largest corporation, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday (June 1, 2009).
The Detroit-based company, for decades a symbol of American manufacturing supremacy, corporate culture and even lifestyle, filed a Chapter 11 petition to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York early Monday morning.
The collapse of the century-old auto giant came at a time when the United States is experiencing the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Just a month ago, Chrysler LLC, the country's third largest automaker, took the same path.
Hoping to reemerge from bankruptcy protection as a new, leaner company within 60 to 90 days, GM will close 14 U.S. factories and three warehouses to slash its operating costs, affecting some 18,000 to 20,000 workers in nine states. It aims to bring down the total number of U.S. plants from the current 47 to 33 by 2012.
The GM bankruptcy, along with the previous one of Chrysler, will also lead to the loss of hundreds of dealers and suppliers as well as hundreds of thousands of jobs, dampening U.S. President …