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Bush announces bailout

by Bill Cawthon on

President George Bush has announced a $17.4 billion loan program to rescue Chrysler and General Motors. $13.4 billion would be available now and $4 billion more would be available in February. The funds will come from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) originally earmarked to assist the financial markets.

The loans will come with most of the strings that were contained in the legislation that failed to pass in the Senate.

The automakers will have three months to provide a restructuring plan to ensure future viability. If the automakers fail to come up with a plan by March 31, they will have to repay the loans.

The Administration ruled out a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying an orderly bankruptcy was an unlikely outcome.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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