A flock of birds sit on a covered General Motors sign at an abandoned auto dealership in Warren, Michigan.
Today, the leading members of President Obama’s auto industry task force, Steve Rattner and Ronald Bloom, will convene in Detroit for a quick spin behind the wheel of the Chevy Volt. Planning to gain a firsthand assessment of GM’s potential for future viability, Rattner and Bloom have also planned a tour of the laboratory in which the Volt’s advanced technology system is developed before meeting up later with several UAW and industry officials.
Rattner and Bloom’s seemingly impromptu field trip falls on the tail end of a series of urgent meetings conducted over the past two weeks aimed at deciding the fate of General Motors after GM CEO Rick Wagoner’s deliver a somber claim that bankruptcy was an imminent threat. In their official progress report submitted to Congress more than two weeks ago, GM dropped a bombshell on the White House, claiming they and fellow floundering automaker, Chrysler, needed upwards of $20 billion in emergency aid in order to avoid total bankruptcy. To even be considered for the new wave of federal funding, GM has until March 31st to cajole shareholders and UAW members alike into agreeing to a few concessions that would significantly lighten GM’s financial burden moving forward. Unfortunately, industry analysts doubt GM will be successful in receiving the requisite approval and don’t believe that more government handouts are a solution to the problem.
Initially in favor of the auto bailout, many Washington heads are now opposed to doling out additional loans and have begun to suggest that bankruptcy might be the only viable option for at least 2 of the Detroit 3. Despite the overwhelming call to allow GM to resort to Chapter 11, Obama has promised to devote as many rescue efforts to Detroit as were thrown to Wall Street, saying, “We’re not going to leave the workers here in Michigan hung out to dry while we give billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street.”
Hanging taxpayers out to dry, however, is apparently entirely permissible.
Source: Detroit News
Image Cred: Reuters Pictures