Monday, March 30, 2009

Administration on GM, Chrysler

by Calculated Risk on 3/30/2009 12:16:00 PM

Update2: From MarketWatch: Corrected: Chrysler, Cerberus agree to Fiat deal framework

Update: The government is also backing warranties for GM and Chrysler. That is a key step towards bankruptcy. US backs warranties for GM, Chrysler (ht Stephen)

The US government Monday said it is guaranteeing the warranties of new vehicles bought from General Motors and Chrysler in a bid to boost consumer confidence and auto sales.

The Treasury Department said it had taken the temporary step to allay consumer worries about buying new cars from the two nearly bankrupt manufacturers that are on government life support. The new plan addresses fears that the new car warranties would be worthless if the companies collapse.
From the WSJ: Obama Outlines Plans for GM, Chrysler
Warning that they can't depend on unending taxpayer dollars, President Barack Obama on Monday gave General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC a brief window to craft plans that would justify fresh government loans.
...
The administration says a "surgical" structured bankruptcy may be the only way forward for GM and Chrysler, and President Obama held out that prospect Monday.

"I know that when people even hear the word 'bankruptcy,' it can be a bit unsettling, so let me explain what I mean," he said. "What I am talking about is using our existing legal structure as a tool that, with the backing of the U.S. government, can make it easier for General Motors and Chrysler to quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down so they can get back on their feet and onto a path to success; a tool that we can use, even as workers are staying on the job building cars that are being sold."
MarketWatch has the Key White House findings Excerpt:
Viability of Existing Plans:

The plans submitted by GM and Chrysler on February 17, 2009 did not establish a credible path to viability. In their current form, they are not sufficient to justify a substantial new investment of taxpayer resources. Each will have a set period of time and an adequate amount of working capital to establish a new strategy for long-term economic viability.

General Motors:

While GM's current plan is not viable, the administration is confident that with a more fundamental restructuring, GM will emerge from this process as a stronger more competitive business. This process will include leadership changes at GM and an increased effort by the U.S. Treasury and outside advisors to assist with the company's restructuring effort. Rick Wagoner is stepping aside as Chairman and CEO. In this context, the Administration will provide GM with working capital for 60 days to develop a more aggressive restructuring plan and a credible strategy to implement such a plan. The Administration will stand behind GM's restructuring effort.

Chrysler:

After extensive consultation with financial and industry experts, the Administration has reluctantly concluded that Chrysler is not viable as a stand-alone company. However, Chrysler has reached an understanding with Fiat that could be the basis of a path to viability. Fiat is prepared to transfer valuable technology to Chrysler and, after extensive consultation with the Administration, has committed to building new fuel efficient cars and engines in U.S. factories. At the same time, however, there are substantial hurdles to overcome before this deal can become a reality. Therefore, the Administration will provide Chrysler with working capital for 30 days to conclude a definitive agreement with Fiat and secure the support of necessary stakeholders. If successful, the government will consider investing up to the additional $6 billion requested by Chrysler to help this partnership succeed. If an agreement is not reached, the government will not invest any additional taxpayer funds in Chrysler.emphasis added