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Obama hints at senior management changes at Big Three

US president elect Barack Obama has hinted at senior management changes at the Big Three as part of its $15 billion (£10bn) emergency loan package.

General Motors chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner has come under the most pressure to resign as Senator Christopher Dodd, who supports the emergency loan plan, suggested Wagoner should go if the government follows through with the loan.

Dodd said: “If you’re going to restructure, you’ve got to bring in a new team.”

Obama also suggested the Big Three may have to make management changes as part of a bailout, although stopped short of naming Wagoner directly.

Obama said: "If this management team that's currently in place doesn't understand the urgency of the situation and is not willing to make the tough choices and adapt to these new circumstances, then they should go.”

The comments come on the back of calls from GM, Ford and Chrysler for an additional $6bn (£4bn) from the Canadian government on top of the $15bn (£10bn) from the US government.

GM and Chrysler are also considering accepting a pre-arranged bankruptcy as the last-resort to getting the billion dollar government rescue deal from the US.

The Big Three's plans for survival


GM

• $4bn loan to stay afloat by end of 2009. Up to $18bn in emergency term loans and revolving credit lines.
• Focus on core brands Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. Review other brands like Saturn, Saab and Hummer.
• Reduce US workforce by 30,000 by 2012.
• Chief exec to reduce pay to $1 in 2009.
• Sell corporate aircraft

Ford

• $9bn, 10-year bridge loan on standby.
• Look at selling Volvo and launch a family of hybrids and battery electric vehicles ready for 2012.
• Four plant closures between 2009 and 2011. Around 50% of future US production capacity allocated to small/medium sized vehicles.
• Chief exec to reduce pay to $1 in 2009.
• Sell corporate aircraft

Chrysler

• $7bn loan before the end of this year.
• 24 major product launches through to 2012 including hybrid vehicles. First full electric models launched by 2010.
• Seek alliances with other markers, such as sharing platforms for an estimated saving of up to $9bn in costs.
• Chief exec will be paid salary of $1 in 2009.

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