|House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to see 'a new business model.'|
Humbled carmakers offer plans
GM, Chrysler seek funds now; Ford sees 'standby' aid
WASHINGTON - Humbled and fighting for survival, Detroit's automakers appealed to Congress for a bailout as large as $34 billion yesterday, pledging to slash workers, car lines, and executive pay. GM and Chrysler said they needed an immediate cash infusion to last until New Year's and warned they could drag the entire industry down if they fail.
Chrysler LLC said it needed $7 billion by year's end, and General Motors Corp. asked for a quick $4 billion as just the first installment of as much as $18 billion to stay afloat and weather even worse economic storms. Ford Motor Co. had a more upbeat report, but the other two members of the US Big Three painted the direst portraits to date - including the prospects of shuttered factories and massive job losses - of what could happen if Congress doesn't quickly step in.
"There isn't a Plan B," said GM chief operating officer Fritz Henderson. Without help, he warned, "the company will default in the near term, very likely precipitating a total collapse of the domestic industry and its extensive supply chain."
Democratic leaders have said they might call Congress back next week to pass an auto bailout - but only if the carmakers' blueprints show the Big Three have reasonable plans to stay viable.
Making no commitments, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, "We want to see a commitment to the future. We want to see a restructuring of their approach, that they have a new business model, a new business plan."
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said he would try to jump-start debate Monday on an auto bailout measure.
Ford Motor Co., in far better shape than GM and Chrysler LLC, asked for a $9 billion "standby line of credit" to stabilize its business but said it didn't expect to tap the funds unless one of Detroit's other Big Three went bust. Its plan projected Ford would break even or turn a pretax profit in 2011.