President Obama says if General Motors is retooled for the 21st century that would be good not only for American workers and manufacturing, but for the overall American economy.
Obama says he hopes G.M. will come out of bankruptcy court quickly, and the government is ready to commit an additional $30 billion to help the company get on its feet.
"Executing this plan will require a substantial amount of money that only a government can provide," Obama said. "So we are acting as reluctant shareholders because that is the only way to help G.M. succeed. What we are not doing; what I have no interest in doing is running G.M.."
"I'm confident that the steps I'm announcing today will mark the end of an old G.M. and the beginning of a new G.M., a new G.M. that can produce the high quality, safe and fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow, that can lead American toward an energy-independent future, and that is once more a symbol of America's success," the President said.
Obama also made it clear this is not the end of the difficult times for those who work in the U.S. auto industry. "More jobs will be lost. More plants will close. More dealerships will shut their doors and so will many parts suppliers," he said.
And the President predicted there would be great days ahead for a legendary American brand. "I am absolutely confident that if well managed, a new G.M. will emerge that can provide a new generation of Americans with the chance to live out their dreams, that can out-compete automakers around the world," Obama said, "and that can once again be an integral part of America's economic future."