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Obama to Auto Industry: "Serious Help" Available, But "Get Me a Plan"

President Barack Obama says he is prepared to offer "serious help" to the Big Three U.S. automakers - General Motors (GM), Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler LLC - but only if its executives, workers, and suppliers are willing to make the changes needed for long-term success, according to the Detroit Free Press. In an interview with approximately one dozen local newspapers in the Detroit, Michigan, area, Obama said that the government may have more aid to offer to the domestic automakers, but that they must show clear evidence of their ability to make high enough profits to sustain themselves against the drop in demand for their product. "My message is, get me a plan," said Obama. Both GM and Chrysler received funds from the government's auto bailout fund last December, and are required to submit their future plans to the Treasury Department on February 17; if the government finds the plans unacceptable, they could call in the billions of dollars in loans and potentially trigger a bankruptcy declaration from either or both companies. Ford declined the funds and has indicated that the company will not require any in the future.

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