With Car Czar Delayed, Automakers Spin Wheels
GM and Chrysler find no one behind the wheel of auto restructuring
By Clay Dillow, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2009 9:14 AM CST
Financier Steven Rattner, founder of private-equity firm Quadrangle, is the front runner for the "car czar" position.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Amid the federal appointment frenzy, the lack of a "car czar" has received little attention, but the vacancy is holding up automakers trying to meet restructuring deadlines included in their $17.4 billion federal loan, the Wall Street Journal reports. The loans require General Motors and Chrysler to submit plans by Feb. 17, but less than 2 weeks away, there is no one to review them.

Financier Steven Rattner is the leading candidate for the position, but the vetting process has been slow. The likelihood that GM and Chrysler will need further cash by next month is growing even as measures mandated in the earlier loan—the renegotiation of union contracts and convincing bondholders to take stock in exchange for billions in debt—await approval.

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