Report: Auto companies to get $5.5 billion more in federal loans this month

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
An unoccupied sales desks are seen inside the Felix Chevrolet Cadillac dealership in Los Angeles on Monday, March 30, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama asserted unprecedented government control over the auto industry Monday, bluntly rejecting turnaround plans by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, demanding fresh concessions for long-term federal aid and raising the possibility of quick bankruptcy for either ailing auto giant. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. could get as much as $5 billion more in federal loans, while Chrysler LLC could get $500 million as they race against government-imposed deadlines to restructure, according to a government report filed Tuesday.

The quarterly report by a special inspector general on the auto industry and bank bailout programs says the money will be made available for working capital. GM has until June 1 to complete restructuring plans that satisfy the government's auto task force, while Chrysler has until April 30.

A person briefed on the plans said Tuesday that the exact amount of the loans have not been finalized and will be worked out with the companies. The person asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.

GM already has received $13.4 billion in government loans, while Chrysler has received $4 billion.

The government's auto task force rejected both companies' restructuring plans on March 30 and gave Chrysler until the end of April to make further cuts and take on a partner or face liquidation. If GM doesn't meet its deadline, it will be forced to restructure under bankruptcy protection.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson said last week that the automaker would need $4.6 billion during the second quarter. A Chrysler spokeswoman said only that the company has not received any more money beyond the initial $4 billion.

The inspector general's report filed Tuesday says that as of March 31, the Treasury Department had spent $24.8 billion for the Auto Industry Financing Program, out of a projected initial total of $25 billion. The money includes aid to Chrysler and GM, plus their financial arms, Chrysler Financial and GMAC Financial Services.

The Treasury also has estimated that it will spend up to $1.25 billion to guarantee warranties for people who buy Chrysler or GM vehicles during the restructuring period. The program is designed to reassure consumers that their warranties will be honored, according to the report, which was prepared for Congress.

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