GM says Pontiac not gone yet; gets another 2 billion dollars

Business Materials 25 April 2009 03:41 (UTC +04:00)

Reports that General Motors might kill off its muscled Pontiac line - Firebird, Grand Prix and Bonneville - pushed GM to nix the idea on Friday, at least for now, dpa reported.

GM is already working to shake off Hummer, Saab and Saturn as part of its belt-tightening ahead of the crucial June 1 deadline, set by the government for the country's largest car maker to attain viability.

GM received news this week that it would get another 2 billion dollars in loans from the US government to help it stay afloat until the deadline. The new infusion brings to 15.4 billion dollars its debt to the US government since December.

GM faces bankruptcy after June 1 if the government's auto task force believes it has not become lean enough to survive.

Reacting to reports that GM was going to kill off Pontiac, GM posted a statement on its website to dispute "media speculation" on the topic and say it was still reviewing its plan to ensure success.

"General Motors has not announced any changes to its long-term viability plan or to the future status of any of its brands," the company said.

GM's smaller rival, Chrysler, faces a shorter deadline on viability on Thursday, and is hustling to nail down a buy-in deal with Italian automaker Fiat, get more cooperation from its lenders and talk its employees, particularly in Canada, into parting with some of their union benefits.