Fears that General Motors will be pushed into bankruptcy by the US government have led to a sharp drop in the value of its shares.
GM, which is operating with $13.4 billion (£9 billion) of emergency government loans, has until 1 June to win sweeping concessions from bondholders and the UAW workers' union. If it fails, the US government has warned the company will face bankruptcy.
The boss of GM, Fritz Henderson, who took charge of the company last month when the Obama administration ousted his predecessor, Rick Wagoner, has said GM would prefer to restructure out of court but was prepared to file for bankruptcy if necessary.
That statement led to a drop of 16 per cent in GM's share value yesterday, as traders off-loaded stock amid fears of the company being declared bankrupt.
Wagoner had previously maintained that a bankruptcy filing would be more costly than an expanded government bailout.