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GM softens opposition

GENERAL Motors Corp is softening its opposition to bankruptcy reorganization a little more, with new CEO Fritz Henderson saying in an interview broadcast yesterday, "if it's required, that's what we'll do."

GM still prefers to do its restructuring without bankruptcy protection, Henderson said in an interview taped by CNN on Friday for its program "State of the Union."

Henderson's predecessor Rick Wagoner was sacked last week after the federal auto restructuring task force determined he was not restructuring fast enough or deep enough. Wagoner had resisted bankruptcy, fearing it would drive customers away and force GM into liquidation.

Henderson said the task force and President Barack Obama both indicated that bankruptcy protection "may very well be the best solution for the company to achieve these goals, which is why when you look at the situation, we said, 'OK, we'll spend the time to try to complete the work, more aggressive work, outside of the court process, but if it's required, that's what we'll do.'"

Henderson said the government's guarantee of GM warranties and its indication that it would lend money to the auto maker while it reorganized under bankruptcy protection are both "strong signals which say even if we have to go through bankruptcy, the company's going to be there."

Henderson said GM will be "reinvented" with or without bankruptcy protection.

GM will need to scale back its United States work force more than it planned as recently as February, Henderson said.


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