Giant car makers General Motors and Chrysler have again gone cap in hand to the United States government, seeking nearly $US22 billion in extra loans to stave off bankruptcy and win extra time for restructuring.
The two companies say they have reached tentative deals with the vehicle workers union to reduce labour costs. They also detailed plans to cut 50,000 jobs, as well as idle plants, as part of restructuring proposals submitted under the terms of their federal bailout.
The companies have so far received more than $US17 billion in loans from the Treasury.
General Motors is seeking $US17 billion, saying it will run out of cash as early as March without more federal funding.
Chrysler wants an extra $US5 billion, saying it expects the brutal downturn in the US market to run for another three years.