February 18, 2009 / 11:47 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-US automakers need major restructuring-White House

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WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. auto industry needs a “fundamental restructuring,” but it is too soon to gauge where a government review of restructuring plans will end up, a top White House official said on Wednesday.

“I don’t think there’s any question ... that the auto industry, given what has happened, is going to require some quite fundamental restructuring and there’s going to be a need for all the major stakeholders to take a role,” National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers said on U.S. public television’s “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.”

When asked if the process could end up with automakers in bankruptcy, he said: “Beyond that, I don’t think it would be prudent or responsible to try to predict where this is going to go until the careful analysis has been done.”

On Tuesday, General Motors Corp (GM.N) and Chrysler LLC requested nearly $22 billion in additional U.S. government loans as they submitted plans with the Obama administration on how they could restructure.

The two U.S. automakers, which have so far received $17.4 billion in loans from the Treasury, detailed plans to cut jobs and idle plants as part of their respective plans.

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