Chrysler is shutting down its factories for one month from tonight, as it, and fellow American car giant, GM continue desperate efforts to avoid total collapse.
The pair are said to have made significant progress on securing emergency loans from the US government in talks late last night. Both sides want to avoid disorderly bankruptcy – something that would spell disaster for the US economy and have a major knock-on effect globally too. “I think, under normal circumstances, no question the bankruptcy court is the best way to sort through credit and debt and restructuring. No question. These aren’t normal circumstances; that’s the problem,” said President George Bush Chrysler, GM and Ford all went cap-in-hand to Congress earlier this month, but Republicans in the Senate voted down a 10 billion-euro handout. Of the big three, Ford is weathering the current crisis best and is only seeking a line of credit. Chrysler is in the weakest position and even if it secures a bailout is likely to have to form an alliance with a rival.