GM and Chrysler got tough love from Barack Obama today, with the president declaring that they haven't made substantial enough changes to justify another federal bailout, and decrying the “failure of leadership” to come up with viable restructuring plans. Obama said the companies would have to regroup radically to survive on their own, not as “wards of the state.” GM will get 60 days worth of federal financing, and Chrysler 30; if they don't have a credible plan in place by then, the government may make them restructure through bankruptcy.
“We cannot continue to excuse poor decisions,” Obama said, after forcing out GM CEO Rick Wagoner and most of the GM board. “And we cannot make the survival of our auto industry dependent on an unending flow of tax dollars.” Obama reiterated that he is committed to the industry’s survival—but on terms that will allow it to compete internationally. The government will guarantee warranties on GM and Chrysler cars, to give consumers confidence in the restructuring giants.