GM Looks Forward After Bankruptcy Filing

June 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
General Motors is now in bankruptcy protection as it tries to restructure. The automaker's plan to get back to business is almost complete and it wants to remerge in just 30 days. But the government said it expects the bankruptcy court process to last 60 to 90 days. Saddled with nearly $173-billion dollars in debt, General Motors filed for bankruptcy Monday. Its leaders are already looking to the future. "What was and is the most important thing to do is to get to our destination, and get there fast," said G.M. C.E.O. Fritz Henderson.

G.M. hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 in 2 to 3 months, but it won't reach that new destination alone. On top of the $20-billion in federal dollars it has already received, the automaker will get $30-billion more.

"We are acting as reluctant shareholders, because that is the only way to help G.M. succeed," said President Obama. President Obama told the country it will be a painful transition.

Eleven g-m plants will close. Three more will be shut down until further notice. 29,000 total employees will be laid off and a whopping 2,600 dealers will be closed.

Fritz henderson: "This new G.M. will be built from the strongest parts of our business, including our best brands."

There is also optimism at this Bordentown, New Jersey dealership. "The uncertainty is done, now I think we can now start fresh," said Marcy Maguire with the Maguire Automotive Group.

And at this Union Hall In Lansing, Michigan, where three generations of the Green family, all G.M. workers, watched the president's announcement. "I don't think it's the end of an era; it may be the end of one chapter at G.M.," said Mike Green, President, UAW Local 652.

According to the Wall Street Journal, G.M. will announce a tentative deal to sell off its Hummer brand, though it is withholding the name of the buyer until later.

One Central Valley G.M. dealer said customers shouldn't notice any big changes from the bankruptcy. Hedrick's Chevrolet in Clovis had several phone calls from worried customers. Owner Brett Hedrick said he's reassuring customers his dealership isn't going anywhere and that warranty work will continue, even through bankruptcy proceedings.

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