After securing the funds to keep it alive until President-elect Obama takes office in 2009, General Motors has issued a two-page open letter of apology.
Addressed to the 'American People', the letter says:
"We deeply appreciate the Congress considering General Motors' request to borrow up to $18 billion from the United States. We want to be sure the American people know why we need it, what we'll do with it and how it will make GM viable for the long term."
Ominously, the car maker says: "U.S. auto industry sales have fallen to their lowest per capita rate in half a century. Despite moving quickly to reduce our planned spending by over $20 billion, GM finds itself precariously and frighteningly close to running out of cash."
GM points out that it has been the "sales leader" in the US for 76 years, but says it has "violated trust" by "letting our quality fall" and letting its designs become "lacklustre".
GM also claims that before "the perfect storm" and the "worst financial crisis since the Great Depression" it was on course to recovery having "improved quality", "produced more attractive cars", concentrating on improved productivity and striking new working agreements with the unions to reduce production costs.