GM Says It Neeeds $5 Billion More in Government Aid 'Soon'

Also added that reports of company shedding some brands are speculation

GM's CEO Fritz Henderson said on April 17 that his company will need $5 billion in additional government aid. Henderson has been given 60 days by the White House to come up with a strengthened viability plan or face a likely bankruptcy. "It is premature to say there's been an approval for further funding," Henderson said.

Henderson said it was too soon to say if the auto giant would be able to avert bankruptcy but repeated his preference for an out-of-court restructuring.

He said the new GM plan would mean "further reduction in facilities," adding that "plant closings will have to go further than the February plan" rejected by a White House auto panel.

The CEO added that reports suggested GM would shed its GMC brand of pickups and four-wheel drive vehicles was "speculation" and that this remained one of the automaker's "core" brands including Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac.

President Barack Obama has pledged to provide GM and bailed-out rival Chrysler with "working capital" to come up with new business plans to weather the crisis that has hammered the auto sector. GM has already received $13.4 billion from the federal government to help shore up the company. The two automakers are now seeking an additional $21.6 billion in government aid, which will only be forthcoming if they submit more realistic plans.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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