In 1954, the last Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the production line with just a lowly 6-cylinder engine. In that same year, the parent company of Chevy, General Motors, had an equivalent stock price (adjusted for splits) of yesterday's closing price on the New York stock exchange ($9.98/share). A 54-year closing low!
Obviously, the stock price reflects a distancing of the investment community from General Motors.
Now, there are rumors that General Motors (GM) will have to file for bankruptcy (See Full Story).
The problem with GM, like a lot of American companies, is that it is being "hung" with massive retirement expenditures from years of bowing to the demands of the labor unions. The unions pushed for earlier and earlier retirements and more benefits for their retirees and now those retirees living longer. It's all well and good if your sales and market share are going up; but, as in the case of GM, their higher cost resulted in non-competitive products and they kept losing sales and their lead in the industry. Now, the company might be in real trouble and the union workers might find themselves in a "they paid me earlier but we lost it all later" kind of environment.
Beyond bankruptcy, I think that, with the dollar falling to such low levels, GM could very well be bought out by a European or Japanese company. Maybe Korean? If that becomes the case, I think the chances of old-line union operations in Detroit remaining operational will become just a memory. I wouldn't want to be in the United Auto Workers leadership shoes right now!
Please note: I have no "inside" track and some of this. It is only my speculative viewpoint.