7 Mar 2009

General Motors auditors raise doubt on viability

8:16 am on 7 March 2009

Auditors for General Motors have raised "substantial doubt" about the US vehicle manufacturer's ability to survive outside bankruptcy if it fails to stem its losses and stop burning cash, the company says.

The "going concern" warning had been expected, but underscored the stakes for General Motors as it seeks up to $US30 billion in government aid to restructure outside a court-supervised bankruptcy process.

The car giant said its creditors had agreed to waive a requirement that could have allowed them to force the automaker to repay more than $US6 billion in loans because of the warning in order to allow GM to press its case for government aid.

The company had warned late last month that it expected auditors Deloitte & Touche would question its viability after it reported a loss of nearly $US31 billion for 2008.

The disclosures came in GM's delayed annual report to US Securities Regulators and a 25-page discussion of the growing risks facing the company ranging from tight credit and troubled suppliers to slumping demand for new cars around the globe.