Obama Signs Stimulus Bill; Automakers Submit Restructuring Plans, Ask for More Money - aftermarketNews

Obama Signs Stimulus Bill; Automakers Submit Restructuring Plans, Ask for More Money

Ford said it will be able to continue operating in 2009 without government assistance.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama yesterday signed into law what has become the largest stimulus package in U.S. history. In conjunction with this milestone, the Detroit Three automakers were required to submit their restructuring plans to Congress yesterday.

As part of their plans submitted to the U.S. government, General Motors and Chrysler have upped the number of dollars they say they need in order to stave off bankruptcy to $39 billion, according to the Associated Press (AP). In turn, the automakers plan to cut thousands more jobs, eliminate vehicle models and brands and said they will agree to certain union concessions.

GM said it could need up to $30 billion from the Treasury Department, up from a previous estimate of $18 billion, according to the AP. This is on top of the $13.4 billion it has already received. Without it, the automaker said it could be out of money by March.

Chrysler requested $5 billion in new loans on top of the $4 billion it received in December; $2 billion more than originally expected.

Ford said it will be able to continue operating in 2009 without government assistance.

According to AP reports, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will lead a task force that will meet later this week to review and analyze the automakers’ plans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday issued a statement on the automakers’ restructuring plans.

"The submission of restructuring plans by GM and Chrysler represents the next step in what has been a difficult and disappointing chapter for the American economy, but I hope will become the transformation of our domestic automobile industry into a viable, technologically advanced and globally competitive manufacturing force,” Pelosi’s statement read.

"In the coming weeks, the Obama Administration will review these plans and assess whether the shared sacrifice required of all stakeholders affected by the auto companies’ current conditions – workers, executives, bondholders, and shareholders – will result in reasonably restructured corporations, with good, high-paying jobs for the future.

"Congress looks forward to working with the Obama Administration on any future actions that may be needed to move our domestic automobile industry on a path of global competitiveness and advanced energy efficiency technologies, while ensuring accountability to the taxpayers."

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