Obama's car industry taskforce leader hints that bailout cash will be made available
17 March 2009

Chrysler and GM are looking increasingly likely to be bailed out by the US government.

President Barack Obama set up a taskforce to investigate the car makers' finances earlier this year, and its findings will dictate whether the companies receive further aid.

Both Chrysler and GM, which have already received $17.4 billion (£12.4 billion) between them in aid, have until 31 March to convince the taskforce of their long-term viability.

However, Steven Rattner, a former banker and private equity investor who is the taskforce's chief adviser, told the Bloomberg news agency today that 'bankruptcy is not our goal nor a desirable outcome.'

'We'll bring all the resources of the Government to bear on these various stakeholders and try to reach a fair compromise,' he said.

Rick Wagoner, GM's chief executive, met the taskforce in Washington yesterday as well as attending a meeting with Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the German Economy Minister, at the German Embassy, to discuss the company's European subsidiaries.

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The two car companies want a further $21.6 billion (£15.4 billion) in aid.

GM has warned that allowing it to fail could cost taxpayers as much as $100 billion.

Rattner also suggested that suppliers to the automakers could receive aid.

Car suppliers last month asked the Treasury for $18.5 billion (£13.1 billion) worth of assistance.

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