UPDATE 2-Senator says more aid likely for US automakers

jueves 26 de marzo de 2009 03:20 CET

* More aid would include new conditions

* Task force faces March 31 deadline

* GM shares up a penny after hours (adds Wall Street Journal report)

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - The Obama administration task force is likely to recommend more aid for struggling U.S. automakers, a senior senator said on Wednesday.

Carl Levin of Michigan said on Capitol Hill that "it is clear" more help is on the way and any assistance for General Motors Corp (GM.N: Cotización) and Chrysler LLC would be tied to new conditions on restructuring.

The Wall Street Journal, citing interviews with task force members, reported late on Wednesday that the panel was preparing a recommendation for more help with new strings attached.

The task force has a March 31 deadline to determine whether GM and Chrysler, controlled by Cerberus Capital Management, can be competitive and worthy of up to $22 billion in additional bailout funds.

The two received $17.4 billion in taxpayer assistance in December after saying they could not survive without it. Ford Motor Co (F.N: Cotización), which is also struggling financially, has not sought a bailout.

Levin said he had no specifics on any aid plan, but optimism for new loans to help GM and Chrysler rose last week when the task force approved $5 billion in aid for stressed industry suppliers.   Continuación...