Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Auto Task Force In Detroit

Article About the Auto Task Force

Obama's auto task force scrutinizes GM, Chrysler operations
by Rick Haglund | Detroit Bureau

DETROIT -- Top members of President Barack Obama's automotive task force scrutinized operations of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC as a March 31 deadline looms for the two automakers to prove viability.

At least four task force members were in Detroit on Monday, meeting privately with the automakers' executives and leaders of the United Auto Workers union.

"They're taking a deeper look at the auto companies and doing a lot of due diligence," said Stephanie Brinley, an auto analyst in the Southfield office of consultant AutoPacific. "The attempt is there. That's certainly a step in the right direction."

GM and Chrysler are being kept alive by $17.4 billion in federal loans. GM is asking for as much as $16.6 billion more, including $2 billion by March 31. Chrysler says it needs $5 billion by March 31 to stay in business.

The task force's visit was led by Steven Rattner, Obama's chief auto adviser, and Ron Bloom, a former investment banker who has served as an adviser to the United Steelworkers union.

They visited GM's technical center and a Chrysler truck plant in Warren. Task force members also drove several advanced propulsion vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt electric extended-range car.

No details were released about any of the meetings with automaker executives.

"We believe today's visit provided a constructive glimpse of GM people, their passion for their work and the technology solutions that are behind the pages of our viability plan," GM said in a statement.

The visit comes as Republicans in Congress are ratcheting up opposition to more financial support for the ailing automakers.....More

Auto Task Force-Website

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