THE spectre of bankruptcy for US car maker General Motors and the knock-on effect at its Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port loomed closer last week.
The firm’s rescue plea went to the wire after the US Congress was unable to agree on a proposed aid package worth £16.8billion.
Congress had been asked to help American car giants GM, Ford and Chrysler trade because the global economic downturn has hit car sales.
The companies were invited to return to Capitol Hill on December 2 with more detailed plans of how they would use the bail-out to improve efficiency.
Workers fear the business could collapse without the cash bail-out.
Earlier, Rick Wagoner, chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors, had put the company’s case to the United States’ Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee.
He said: “GM has made tremendous progress transforming our business in recent years.
“As a result of these actions, we are now matching – or beating – foreign auto-makers in terms of productivity, quality, and fuel economy.
“We’ve moved aggressively in recent years to address competitive shortcomings and position GM for long-term success, and were well on the road to turning our North American business around.
“But since then, our industry has been hit hard by the global financial markets crisis and the recent plunge in vehicle sales threatens not only GM’s ongoing turnaround, but our very survival.
“Our industry, which represents America’s real economy, needs a bridge to span the financial chasm that has opened before us.”
He explained the cost to American and global society if GM collapsed would be “catastrophic”.
Mr Wagoner added: “Such a level of economic devastation would far exceed the Government support that our industry needs to weather the current crisis.
“We want to continue the vital role we’ve played for America for the past 100 years, but can’t do it alone.”