Obama: GM, Chrysler, must do more for added bailouts
US President Barack Obama, who is to make a major announcement about the US car industry Monday, says that General Motors and Chrysler must do more to receive added government bailout money, dpa reported.
The companies have failed to reach the restructuring goals they had pledged to make by Tuesday in order to get more bailout money, Obama said.
"They're not there yet," Obama told the CBS Sunday morning show, Face the Nation.
After the 17.4 billion dollars in bailouts granted the two companies under the George Bush administration, additional money is dependent on the two companies reaching definite goals by the coming week on the way to becoming financially viable.
GM, the country's largest producers, and Chrysler, the third largest car maker, have asked for an added 21.6 billion dollars. Ford Motors, the country's second largest producer, has not taken any bailout money.
Although Obama has said he hopes bankruptcy proceedings can be avoided, he has not ruled it out as a possibility.
"Everybodys going to have to come to the table and say it's important for us ... to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road," Obama said.
Obama noted that the US market for new cars has dropped from 14 million to 9 million during the recession. "Everybody is having problems, even Toyota and other very profitable companies," the president said.
He was optimistic that the country can have a "successful U.S. auto industry."
"But it's got to be one that's realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge at the other end much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is," he said.
He said everyone must be willing to sacrifice, including management, labour, shareholders, creditors, suppliers and dealers.