Warning leads to concern over jobs

Thousands of car plant workers in the UK fear their jobs could be at risk after General Motors warned it was running on empty.

The firm, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, said it would be bankrupt within months unless it got an emergency cash injection from the US government to help it ride out the global financial crisis.

The world's biggest car company employs about 3,700 workers at plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, which produce about 215,000 vehicles a year. It needs at least £7bn to pay its bills each month, the Daily Mail reported.

The firm, which owns Vauxhall, said it had called off merger talks with Chrysler and was asking the US government for help after using up $6.9 billion (£4.4bn) in the third quarter of 2008.

GM said it planned to make more job cuts, including another 5,500 salaried and factory workers. But the Detroit-based firm warned that this alone would not be enough to keep it afloat.

GM chairman and chief executive officer Rick Wagoner said the firm would "take every action" possible to avoid bankruptcy.

A spokesman for GM in the UK said no reference had been made to jobs at the British sites and that discussions between car manufacturers and US officials were ongoing.

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