The emergence of the debt crisis in 1982, however, severely reduced sales and production in the industry. As the domestic market for automobiles contracted in Mexico, most firms experienced significant financial losses. In the period of 1981 to 1987, for example, Ford's sales fell by 70 percent. The decline in sales for Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen was roughly the same.1 Multinational automobile firms had been moving in the direction of restructuring prior to 1982, but the financial impact of the debt crisis forced companies to speed up reform in their Mexican plants. Minor differences aside, all companies reduced employment and demanded wage and work rule concessions.