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GM’s Wagoner to resign

Over and out: GM chairman and chief executive officer Rick Wagoner is set to step down.

Rick Wagoner to resign as president Obama decides fate of GM and Chrysler today

30 Mar 2009

THE US media was buzzing over the weekend with news that the US administration would ask long-serving General Motors chief executive Rick Wagoner to resign today, when president Barack Obama announces the fate of GM and Chrysler.

A senior Obama administration official told the NBC’s John Yang that Mr Wagoner had already been asked to step down by the White House.

The reports emerged on Sunday (March29), the day before president Obama was due to unveil his widely anticipated plan for the future of America’s troubled three car-makers.

GM and Chrysler have asked for another $US21.6 billion ($A30.67 billion) in US aid on top of the $US17.4 billion ($A24.71 billion) in emergency loans approved in December, while Ford says it has enough cash to survive the downturn in US vehicle sales and the global economy without government aid.

“A task force is meeting today. They are finishing up the decisions that have to be made and put in place. The president will make an announcement on Monday, said US presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs on Friday.

GM has lost about $US82 billion ($A119b) since 2004, while GM shares have fallen almost 95 per cent since 2000, when Mr Wagoner became CEO.

 center imageGM's Rick Wagoner with former US president George Bush.

President Obama said in a CBS-TV news program broadcast yesterday that GM and Chrysler had not done enough to become “lean, mean and competitive”.

“We think we can have a successful US auto industry. But it's got to be one that's realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge ... much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is,” he said.

“That's going to mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved – management, labour, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers. Everybody's going to have to come to the table and say it's important for us to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road.

“They’re not there yet.”

Read more:

Big Three bailout

GM, Chrysler ask for $61b in US survival aid

Retiring Lutz praises Holden link

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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