2011 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
Today members of President Obama's autos task force head to Detroit to scrutinize GM and Chrysler's viability plans. A test drive of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and tour of the plant that assembles the 2009 Dodge Ram will provide a chance for the companies to prove they can use fed assistance to actually move forward rather than just treading water and feeding bloated bureaucracies.
2009 Dodge RamEnlarge Photo
But with GM now admitting that bankruptcy might be its best option, this visit from the White House could prove the automakers' important performance ever. Far from just photo ops, ride-and-drives, and feel-good factory visits, the visit will likely be pivotal for both GM and Chrysler, who desperately need more money from the government to avoid filing for bankuptcy.
The task force has been charged with deciding whether or not domestic automakers are deserving of more federal bailout funds. Currently, GM and Chrysler and are existing on the $17.4 billion lifeline in no-interest loans granted last year by the Bush administration. The companies have asked for a total of $39 billion and claim that receiving additional funding is urgent.
Prominent auto task force members like financier Steven Rattner and Steelworkers union official Ron Bloom will first tour GM's massive tech center in Warren, Mi. where they will drive the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and presumably meet key members responsible for delivering on GM's promise to bring the Volt to market late next year. Afterwards, task force members will head to Chrysler's Warren Truck plant where the 2009 Ram is produced; the company says the vehicle's vastly improved quality, fresh interior design, and innovative technology are emblematic of changes that will find their way into the rest of Chrysler's dated lineup.
[source: Detroit Free Press]