Auto Maker Bankruptcy Looms
Troubled U.S. auto makers and union representatives dug in late Monday for all-night cost-cutting negotiations as the government advanced its point person on auto restructuring, a former investment banker with a record for demanding harsh concessions from manufacturers, unions and investors alike.
General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC are required to submit recovery plans to the government on Tuesday as part of their agreement to receive billions of dollars in federal loans. As the government’s auto-industry task force began to take shape ahead of the deadline, President Barack Obama’s administration appeared to be turning up the pressure on GM and Chrysler to carry out tough restructuring measures, possibly through the use of the bankruptcy court.
The administration stepped back over the weekend from naming a “car czar,” as it had planned, to oversee the restructuring. But according to people familiar with the task force, it named former Lazard Freres & Co. investment banker Ron Bloom a key adviser. Mr. Bloom, who made a name advising U.S. steelworkers to accept major concessions in several bankruptcy cases, is expected to take the task force’s lead role, a senior U.S. Treasury official says.