A quick glance at today's announcements from America's largest automaker is an easy indicator that the U.S. auto market, at the very least, is under as strong as recession as could be imagined. According to Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, the entire industry as a whole is facing a "perfect storm" of "record gas prices, rising steel prices, a credit market contraction that has made it more difficult for consumers to purchase autos, and a weakening economy that has shed jobs for six straight months."

As the auto industry goes, so go the livelihoods of countless workers -- both directly employed by the Detroit 3 and indirectly supported by suppliers, dealers and the like -- making today's announcements from GM a "sobering reminder" of the current state of the U.S. economy. Still, Obama holds out hope that the right Federal policies could dig the industry out of the hole it currently finds itself in. What it likely doesn't mean, though, is a bailout, according to Obama's likely opponent, John McCain, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.

[Sources: The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News]