Obama unveils plan to help U.S. auto industry
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-31 00:16:45   Print
"We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish," said Obama.
"Obama said GM and Chrysler will be offered a limited period of time to work with creditors.
GM will get adequate working capital over the next 60 days to produce a reorganization plan.

    WASHINGTON, March 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama announced Monday a plan to help the nation's struggling auto industry restructure for the future, preventing its "sudden collapse."

    "We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish," the president said.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Monday a plan to help the nation's struggling auto industry restructure for the future, preventing its "sudden collapse."

U.S. President Barack Obama makes an announcement about the American automotive industry in the Grand Foyer at white house in Washinton, on March 30, 2009.(Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
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    Obama said his administration will offer General Motors (GM) and Chrysler a limited period of time to work with creditors, unions, and other stakeholders "to fundamentally restructure in a way that would justify an investment of additional tax dollars."

    During this period, the automakers "must produce plans that would give the American people confidence in their long-term prospects for success," he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Monday a plan to help the nation's struggling auto industry restructure for the future, preventing its "sudden collapse."

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks about the American automotive industry while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stands by in the Grand Foyer at white house in Washinton, on March 30, 2009.(Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
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    GM will get adequate working capital over the next 60 days to produce a reorganization plan acceptable to the administration, while Chrysler is getting up to 6 billion dollars and 30 days to complete a merger deal with Italian automaker Fiat.

    To support demand for auto sales during this period, the government will offer tax incentives for auto purchases, and to consumers trading in old cars for newer fuel-efficient models.

    GM and Chrysler, two of the nation's Big Three automakers, have been hard hit by the economic downturn and the worst decline in auto sales in 27 years. They got 17.4 billion dollars in emergency loans from the Bush administration in December last year on the condition that they would develop plans to restructure.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Monday a plan to help the nation's struggling auto industry restructure for the future, preventing its "sudden collapse."

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the American automotive industry in the Grand Foyer at white house in Washinton, on March 30, 2009.(Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
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    Under the terms of the loan agreement reached during the Bush administration, GM and Chrysler are pushing the United Auto Workers (UAW) to accept shares of stock in exchange for half of the payments into a union-run trust fund for retiree health care.

    They also want labor costs from the union to be competitive with Japanese automakers with U.S. operations.

    The two automakers face a Tuesday deadline to submit completed restructuring plans, but neither company is expected to finish their work.

    Moreover, GM is seeking 16.6 billion dollars more, while Chrysler wants 5 billion dollars more.

    "What we are asking is difficult," Obama said Monday. "It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognize that they cannot holdout for the prospect of endless government bailouts."

    "Only then can we ask American taxpayers who have already put up so much of their hard-earned money to once more invest in a revitalized auto industry," he said.

    The Obama administration also replaced GM's CEO Rick Wagoner with the company's chief operating officer, Fritz Henderson.

    If the automakers fall short, Obama raised the specter of using bankruptcy laws to force their restructuring.

    The other one of the Big Three automakers, Ford, has said that it has enough cash to survive the downturn without government aid. 

GM to consider option of bankruptcy protection 

    CHICAGO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- General Motors (GM) said on Monday it does not rule out the possibility of filing for a bankruptcy protection.

    U.S. President Barack Obama announced details of the auto industry rescue package at the White House Monday, giving the biggest U.S. auto maker 60 days to restructure further.  Full story

GM names new CEO

    CHICAGO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. automaker General Motors on early Monday confirmed the resignation of Rick Wagoner as chairman and chief executive officer of the company, and named Fritz Henderson, its current president and chief operating officer, as its new CEO.  Full story

Canada rejects GM, Chrysler restructuring plans, bailout stays

    OTTAWA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Canada on Monday rejected the restructuring plans of the Canadian branches of General Motors and Chrysler as unrealistic" and demanded new plans, but pledging to extend an interim-loan immediately to help the companies stay alive.  Full story

Can Obama's tough medicine save ailing U.S. automakers

    CHICAGO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government rejected Monday the turnaround plans of General Motors Corp (GM) and Chrysler LLC but gave them a dose of tough medicine -- 60 more days to develop more sweeping restructuring. However, Auto experts believe the automakers still face an uncertain prospect although their potential for survival in such a hard time exists.  Full story

GM bondholders face White House on debt crunch

    BEIJING, March. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- The White House task force Thursday grilled General Motors Corp bondholders in a volley of renewed questions on the proposed terms of a debt-reduction deal seen crucial to keeping it from bankruptcy.

    In a report released Thursday, auditors of General Motors raised "substantial doubt" about the troubled automaker's ability to continue operations, and the company said it may have to seek bankruptcy protection if it couldn't execute a huge restructuring plan.  Full story

7,500 GM hourly employees accept buyouts

General Motors assembly workers leave the GM Powertrain plant at the end of their shift in Warrren, Michigan March 26, 2009. GM said on Thursday that 7,500 of its U.S. factory workforce represented by the United Auto Workers union accepted buy out offers to leave the struggling automaker's payroll.

General Motors assembly workers leave the GM Powertrain plant at the end of their shift in Warrren, Michigan March 26, 2009. GM said on Thursday that 7,500 of its U.S. factory workforce represented by the United Auto Workers union accepted buy out offers to leave the struggling automaker's payroll.
(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    CHICAGO, March 26 (Xinhua) -- General Motors said on Thursday that 7,500 hourly employees, about 12 percent of the automaker's U.S. hourly work force of 62,400, have accepted buyout offers and most of them will leave the company no later than April 1, 2009.

    GM indicated it will fill job openings with current employees whenever possible. In facilities where new employees are needed, GM will hire individuals at the entry-level wage and benefit structure. The extent of the new hiring at each facility will be determined on a plant-by-plant basis.  Full story

GM reports second largest annual loss in 2008

    CHICAGO, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- General Motors Corp. on Thursday reported an annual loss of 30.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, the second-largest in history only dwarfed by a hefty loss of 38.7 billion dollars in 2007.

    The future of the biggest U.S. automaker depends on whether it can get more federal assistance. The company, which has obtained 13.4 billion dollars in bailout loans, requested as much as 16.6 billion dollars in additional funding on Feb. 17.  Full story

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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