The last sentence of today's WSJ cover story (subscribers only link) on the bankruptcy of auto parts supplier Delphi (formerly a part of GM) goes a long way to explaining why it (and most of the rest of the auto industry) is SCREWED.
The company spends about $400 million annually to cover costs on about 4,000 laid-off workers.
Doing the math, that's $100K per laid off employee. Now some of this is benefit cost rather than cash but still.....
These numbers check out with this recent Forbes article on GM's laid-off community.