GM and Chrysler execs defend the closing of hundreds of dealerships - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

GM and Chrysler execs defend the closing of hundreds of dealerships

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- General Motors and Chrysler executives are defending the closings of hundreds of dealerships before skeptical House lawmakers at a hearing today.

Oregon Republican Greg Walden told the executives that many dealers and their communities feel "blind-sided" by the shutdowns.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson says the dealer cuts are "quite painful" but necessary to preserve over 200,000 jobs at GM's remaining dealers.

Chrysler Deputy CEO Jim Press says the cuts are "the most difficult business action" of his career but are among the shared sacrifices by the United Auto Workers union, bondholders and others needed to save the company.

The committee released a GM document that provided a state-by-state list of 1,323 dealerships the automaker plans to wind down. Pennsylvania had the most with 90, followed by Ohio with 79, Illinois with 66 and California with 65. Alaska was the only state to be spared.

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