• Dec 2nd 2008 at 7:06PM
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Now that we've had a chance to digest the future business plan from Ford, which was sent to Congress this morning, General Motors and Chrysler have followed suit with documents of their own. Unlike Ford, both Chrysler and GM claim that they need money right away just to keep the lights turned on for 2009. As was the case with Ford, both GM and Chrysler have emphasized an increased investment in fuel saving technologies as one of the main reasons the they need federal help. Chrysler is asking for a $7 billion secured working capital bridge loan by December 31, 2008 and GM requires term loans of up to $12 billion to keep the lights on through the end of 2009 with an initial draw of $4 billion in December 2008.

If they get the low-interest, deferred loans that they are looking for, the automakers have promised to introduce new vehicles with advanced technology, including full electrics and hybrids. Chrysler, for instance, says that it will begin selling EVs for fleet use in 2009, with regular customer deliveries scheduled for 2010. We're not sure what it'll be selling, though a variation of one of the three EV concepts it showed off a few months back seems most likely. In any case, the automaker believes it can have 500,000 produced by 2013.

General Motors, for its part, says that it will "launch predominately high mileage, energy-efficient cars and crossovers" in the near-term future. GM also highlights the Chevy Volt that is slated for launch in 2010 and its advanced E-Flex drivetrain, which will in turn go on to power additional models. Also under development are EVs that use hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity. Take a look over at Autoblog for all the details of Chrysler's and GM's plans. Both automakers seem to by saying that they've done all they can do on their own to fix their problems. Now they need assistance from the Feds to carry them through until the financial markets begin to recover and people start buying cars again. Without immediate help, all of these environmentally-friendly plans will be meaningless.

[Sources: General Motors, Chrysler]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      We have seen this dog and pony show before. Sure, the American Auto Manufacturers have come up with plans for electric and hybrid cars/trucks/vans/whatever. They will throw a few out there, but rest assured that those vehicles will cost far more than a regular car/truck/van and will get about 6 to 10 more mpg. No one will buy them, not because they aren't good cars, but because they cost too much and don't get as many mpg as foreign cars. Then Ford, GM and Chrysler, (is Chrysler still in business?), will halt product because "those cars don't make sense as there is no demand".

      This is what I think should be done.
      1. The US Gov't buys the military vehicle part of GM. That would cost about 10 billion. Then loan GM 4 billion. (kiss that money goodbye).
      2. Tell Chrysler that they have been sold by 2 companies, so no one wants them.
      3. Thank Ford for showing up and wish them well.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Again, GM and Chrysler have shown nothing on how they can get their cost of production down. They have a significant cost disadvantage for EVERY vehicle they sell over Toyota and Honda. If they don't have a plan to eradicate that difference, then they are not sustainable as a business and should be allowed to founder.

      On top of being able to build vehicles for less, Toyota, Honda and other foreign manufacturers sell their vehicles for more money with fewer discounts and have huge cash reserves to plough into R&D to keep them ahead.

      THIS is what GM, Ford and Chrysler need to address, but they simply do not. Promises on high tech wonder cars that sip air is wonderful...however without a plan to build them for less money than the competition will build theirs for, sell them for the same amount of money or more than the competition, and show they have equal resources to put into R&D, all is for nought. Let nature take its course. There will still be an American auto industry of some sort, but only one that looks radically different than the current one will have any chance at not ending up at the same point again begging for more money a few years down the road.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I'll be honest and admit I did not read the entire plan in great detail. Did they state how they were going to achieve this? They have some massive liabilities in terms of commitments to their unions they will have to get out of. There is a huge gulf between saying you will do something and actually getting to that point.

        I think that IF the government was intent on giving a bailout, they at the very least should not do so until GM has an agreement from their unions. Yes, the future of the company will hang in the balance. The unions will have a very stark choice though. Either agree to the concessions or the Employer goes bankrupt and everyone is out of a job. Giving any money before such an agreement with the unions is reached would only perpetrate the endless cycle that GM and co. have been spinning around upon.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Did you read their plan? GM specifically states that their cost of production will be equal to that of Toyota by 2011.
      • 8 Months Ago
      If GM can afford to blow money on the Hydrogen Dead End, then there's no excuse not to build Diesel Hybrids that would cost much less and get near 100 MPG.
      • 8 Months Ago
      We should call it the:

      "Kill the Competitor's of Big 3's" bill

      or the

      "Destroy Competitive Innovation" bill

      or even the

      "let's follow the Soviet's to Kill Capitalism" bill (we all saw how well THAT worked for them)

      The ONLY IMPORTANT FACT HERE is that when the taxpayer's money chooses winners & losers competition and innovation die while costs increase and quality suffers.

      American USED to stand for something. Now it's only...

      Go, comrades, go....
      • 8 Months Ago
      The technology is available for 100 - 200 mpg but for what ever reason the auto manufactures don't want to buy into it.

      Back in the 80"s another fellow and myself developed a carburetor that got between 50 mpg and 143 mpg. We have signed affidavits by bank managers, businessmen, police officers etc. Our unit was tested on a Ford Maverick, and a Ford F100 pickup. The Maverick gave us a low of 50 mpg when cold to a high of 143 mpg when hot. The Ford truck gave us 101 mpg.. I owned a 72 Lincoln Mark IV at the time and figured I could fill up in Seattle and drive to Chicago on a tank of gas. When I see the auto manufactures talk of a 5-10 mpg increase it makes me sick, when I know with their available engineers it would be easy for them to adapt this technology to our present cars . They have either got their heads in the sand or there must be a conspiracy against getting decent gas mileage. As Lee Iaccoca said," lead, follow or get out of the way". The big 3 have been following, instead of leading and they will soon be out of the way. I hope not!

      • 8 Months Ago
      Also in the future GM plans to sell pink flying unicorns, the designs are still being worked out, if only GM could get a few billion of taxpayer money so they could start building the unicorn factory in Guatemala.
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