U.S. Auto Industry Finally 'Hitting Bottom' Says Michigan Governor

Granholm says Michigan will emerge leaner and meaner

Jennifer Granholm, Michgan's governor said on June 1 that the storied U.S. auto industry is finally "hitting bottom" with dual bankruptcy filings by Chrysler and GM.

Jennifer Granholm insisted that the companies and her state will emerge leaner and meaner. But not without a load of hurt first, she warned.

"This summer, it's going to be really, really tough in Michigan," the governor said. "But at the end of this, we can finally see that we are hitting bottom."

"These auto companies ... have been in the middle of restructuring plans since the year 2000, so we have lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and the uncertainty of not knowing when bottom was going to arrive has made it much more difficult."

Senior officials in President Barack Obama's administration detailed what they hope will be a swift process in which GM should be able to reemerge from bankruptcy protection as a new, leaner company within 60 to 90 days.

But "the Obama administration does not want to be operating this company or Chrysler; the Obama administration wants to have a strong viable domestic auto industry," Granholm insisted. "You have to get through this restructuring in a way that positions them for success and not for failure, and ultimately the taxpayers will get their money back.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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