Posted by: David Kiley on March 31, 2009
Acting General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson conducted his first press conference this morning in Detroit. He has been at GM for more than 20 years, and has been a very close associate of just-ousted chairman and CEO G. Richard Wagoner Jr. who was asked to step down last Friday by the Obama Administration.
GM has 60 days to hammer out a new restructuring plan. If it can’t, the government will compel GM to go into a quick Chapter 11.
New GM CEO Henderson Speaks:
A quick bankruptcy is more likely than not.
We don’t need more time to get operational restructuring done. We need constituents to come to the table.
I won’t prejudge what sacrifices need to be made by UAW and bond holders. That’s done at the negotiating table.
More GM factories likely to close.
We have been in dialogue on a Hummer sale with several parties. We are within weeks of a decision.
Saturn will take more time to sort out. If no buyer, Saturn goes away after 2011.
He speaks Portuguese.
I don’t worry about whether or not Obama wants me beyond 60 days. I was hired by the board. If they want to replace me, they can.
Chap. 11s can be sloppy and value destructive. It wouldn't be my first choice.
We are capable of doing restructuring out of court, but we may need Chapter 11 to get it done fast.
We may need more attrition programs to reduce employees.
GM's annual meeting is in August. It's been pushed back. And we will see many new board members, I think. The Obama Admin. has asked for it, but we were already on that track.
Though March 31 we haven't had to take additional money and we may not in the next 30 days. We'll see.
We are a big proponent of a scrappage program. It has worked really well in Germany where sales are up double digits.
The task force told us that 2014 was too long to get some of the restructuring done. [kiley: no kidding].
We need to pull forward the reduction of dealers. We were doing it. We need to do it faster.
White House is providing funding and oversight. [Kiley-The White House is an angry shareholder].
The President said he has no interest in running GM. They want a plan that is viable and can fund new tech.
We have to take what's already been done and pull things fwd. and take things two steps deeper.
He is Michigan born and raised.