GM, Chrysler to be given up to $5.5b. more

The government's auto task force rejected both companies' restructuring plans.

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 amounts of the loans have not been finalized and will be worked out with the companies. GM already has received $13.4b. in government loans, while Chrysler has received $4b. 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 $4.6b. during the second quarter. A Chrysler spokeswoman said the company has not received any more money beyond the initial $4b. The inspector general's report filed Tuesday says that as of March 31, the Treasury Department had spent $24.8b. for the Auto Industry Financing Program, out of a projected initial total of $25b. 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 $1.25b. 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.