Saturday, April 18, 2009

GM readies plans for bankruptcy

DETROIT, April 18 — General Motors chief executive Fritz Henderson said yesterday the automaker was readying detailed plans for a bankruptcy filing that now appears more likely even as it races to complete a business plan under federal oversight.

Henderson said GM faced no pressure from the Obama administration's autos task force to make a decision on whether to file for bankruptcy before an established June 1 deadline and said it was "feasible" that the automaker could still avoid bankruptcy despite the short time frame remaining.

But Henderson also said the automaker was drawing up a game plan that would let it emerge as quickly as possible from bankruptcy if it needed to take that route.

"Given what we need to accomplish, I certainly felt a couple weeks ago that it was more probable that we would need to go through a bankruptcy process," Henderson told reporters on a conference call. "That continues today."

GM, which has been operating under US$13.4 billion (RM48 billion) of emergency US government aid, has not yet received the US$4.6 billion of additional funding it had said that it would need to continue operating through the second quarter.

Under the terms of its government rescue, GM has until June 1 to prepare deep cuts in its debt, labour costs, dealership network and brands to return to profitability.

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