Friday, March 6, 2009

Obama auto task force to come to Detroit next week

WASHINGTON -- Leaders of President Barack Obama’s auto task force will travel to Detroit next week to meet with industry and labor officials worried about an imminent collapse of several companies absent federal aid.

An administration official said final details of the trip were still being worked out, but the task force visitors will include advisers Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom.

The task force has been conducting a string of meetings over the past two weeks to gather information and assess the depth of the problems facing the industry. General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have said they need a total of $7 billion before the end of the month to avoid bankruptcy, and several suppliers are also on the brink.

Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne met with Rattner, Bloom and other members of the task force for two and a half hours today to discuss Fiat’s proposed alliance with Chrysler. Fiat has said it would take a 35% stake in Chrysler in return for sharing vehicle designs that could be used for several new Chrysler models.

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