Deadline nearing for GM, Chrysler

General Motors workers assemble new Cadillacs on the assembly line at the GM Lansing Grand River Plant.

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Steve Chiotakis: Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow will begin just as others have started in this economic fallout with political and business leaders licking wounds and hoping for better returns. President Obama signs the near-$800 billion stimulus bill tomorrow. And it's also the day American car companies submit their viability and loan payback plans. Here's Marketplace's Jennifer Collins.


Jennifer Collins: The deadline's almost here. GM and Chrysler have until tomorrow to come up with plans for their future. The companies are expected to cut costs, cut jobs and cut down on union benefits.

These plans are part of a deal they made to take loans from the U.S. government. The government will have until March 31 to decide whether to continue to help out the auto giants or cut them loose.

There are reports this morning that GM is going to be offering up a bit of an ultimatum in its plans: Give us the money to get by or help us get through bankruptcy.

Paul Eisenstein is with TheDetroitBureau.com:

Paul Eisenstein: Everything is dragging along and I think GM is saying look, one or the other, let's just call this thing and say where we're going. Because we really can't plan until we know.

Eisenstein says as bad as GM is, Chrysler may be worse. He says, planning in this economy is almost impossible.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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