Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP) Two people briefed on the plan say General Motors Corp. will close most of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer because of slumping sales and growing inventories of unsold vehicles.
The people did not know exactly when the shutdowns would occur, but both say they will include the normal two-week closure in July to change from one model year to the next.
Neither person wanted to be identified because workers have not been told of the shutdowns.
By AP / Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP / Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network) General Motors says it may not make a $1 billion bond payment on June 1 if it doesn't finish a debt-for-equity exchange by then.
The troubled auto giant plans to make the exchange offer soon to bondholders.
General Motors Corp. has $28 billion in unsecured bond debt. The offer could come as early as next week.
A federal report says the U.S. government will loan General Motors Corp. up to $5 billion more to make it through June 1, and Chrysler LLC could get up to $500 million more by April 30.
The report on the bank bailout program released Tuesday by a special inspector general says the money will be made available for working capital as both companies try to meet government restructuring demands.
GM already has received $13.4 billion in government loans, while Chrysler has received $4 billion.
By Gretchen Millich / Kevin Lavery, WKAR Radio News
(East Lansing, MI) – Supporters of public transportation visited state legislators in Lansing Tuesday to lobby for more investment in bus, light rail, commuter rail and high-speed rail systems in Michigan.
Business and local government leaders say the state could loose up to $120-million in matching federal funds starting next year, if the legislature does not increase state funding for public transportation.
Clark Harder is with the Michigan Public Transit Association.
Chronically failing schools would be supervised by a state-appointed turnaround specialist under terms of legislation introduced by two Michigan House Democrats.
Schools would be considered failing if a large majority of students don't meet proficiency requirements on standardized math and English tests. Schools also would have to fail to meet federal No Child Left Behind standards for four straight years.
(Lansing, MI) – An estimated 50,000 people in Ingham County do not have dental insurance, and most of them cannot afford to pay for dental care. Health officials say those numbers are rising, as more and more people lose their jobs.
The Carefree Dental Clinic in south Lansing offers free or low-cost dental care to those who qualify.
But the demand is much greater than the clinic can handle.
General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Fritz Henderson says bankruptcy isn't the company's preferred option, but it's still probable, given the restructuring goals GM must meet to get more government loans.
In a conference call with reporters Friday, Henderson said GM is working on two parallel plans: one that involves bankruptcy and one that doesn't.
GM has already received $13.4 billion in aid, and it must meet strict requirements to cut labor costs and debt by a June 1 deadline.
(Delta Township, MI) – The recession has hit Michigan hard: from the nation's highest jobless rate to daily fears of bankruptcy for the flagship automobile industry and a high home foreclosure rate. Now, some fear business foreclosures may climb. The recession is having an impact on one of mid-Michigan's busiest commercial strips.
General Motors Corp. says its preparing to launch a public bond-exchange offer that would let the company start slashing its debt, even without an agreement from a committee of large institutional bondholders.
The Detroit automaker has been working on a plan to wipe out most of its $28 billion unsecured debt by June 1 to avoid bankruptcy.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP) - Michigan's unemployment rate jumped to 12.6% in March, up from 12% the month before.
The higher number is likely to keep Michigan in the spotlight as the state with the nation's worst unemployment rate.
The national unemployment rate in March was 8.5%.
The state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Development said Wednesday that the weakness in the auto industry along with the national recession have "severely affected" Michigan's labor market over the past year.