Members of the Obama administration's autos task force toured General Motors Corp
GM and Chrysler showed plans for hybrid and other vehicles that had been trumpeted in turnaround plans they submitted to the Treasury Department in February.
GM and Chrysler received a $17.4 billion government bailout in December and have asked for nearly $22 billion more. The government has until March 31 to determine if the automakers can become commercially viable, and if they should get additional public funds.
At a GM technical center in Warren, Michigan, lead task force advisers Steven Rattner, a former Wall Street financier, and Ron Bloom, a restructuring expert with strong labor ties, had an opportunity to drive a test version of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car. GM plans to produce that car in 2010.
A person familiar with the visits, who is not authorized to speak publicly about the meeting, said Bloom and Rattner met with Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, GM Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson and GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young at the technical center.
We believe today's visit provided a constructive glimpse of GM people, their passion for their work, and the technology solutions that are behind the pages of our viability plan, GM said in a statement.
Rattner and Bloom, who work for the Treasury Department, toured Chrysler's plant in Warren, where Dodge pickup trucks are built, and met with Chief Executive Bob Nardelli, Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda, Vice Chairman Jim Press, and Chief Financial Officer Ron Kolka, Chrysler said.
Chrysler reviewed current and future product plans with the task force, including electric and hybrid vehicles, the automaker said in its statement.
Rattner and Bloom, who oversee day-to-day operations of the autos task force, also planned to meet on Monday with leaders of the United Auto Workers union, which prominently figures in GM's and Chrysler's plans to cut costs to be more competitive with U.S. operations of foreign-based automakers.
Last week, GM's auditors raised doubt about the company's ability to survive outside bankruptcy if it cannot stem losses and stop burning cash.
Chrysler, about 80 percent controlled by Cerberus Capital Management
GM posted a $30.9 billion net loss in 2008, while much smaller Chrysler reported a net loss of $8 billion.
(Reporting by David Bailey; Additional reporting by John Crawley in Washington)