Obama: More Work Needed to Make U.S. Auto Industry Competitive

The Big automakers are not "quite there" yet on a restructuring plan to help save the U.S. auto industry, President Obama said in an interview aired Sunday.

The president said that while the market for new cars is dropping, the plan is still to keep the U.S. auto industry as vibrant as possible.

"We think we can have a successful U.S. auto industry," Obama said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"But it's got to be one that's realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge -- at the other end -- much more -- lean, mean and competitive than it currently is."

Obama is expected to make an announcement Monday about his administration's plan for the industry, including General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which received government loans of $13.4 billion got and $4 billion, respectively, late last year. According to reports earlier this week, GM has already announced it won't need any more government money.

On "This Week," Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner refused to get ahead of an announcement by the president, only echoing Obama's wish to have a strong auto industry in the United States.

"We want it to emerge from this period of challenge stronger. That's going to require a lot of restructuring," Geithner said.

"We're prepared as a government to help that process if we believe it's going to provide the basis for a stronger industry in the future that's not going to rely on government support."