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美国总统就通用汽车公司的重组一事发表演讲

时间:2020-11-16 07:47:57

  Just over two months ago, I spoke with you in this same spot about the challenges facing our auto industry, and I laid out what needed to be done to save two of America's most storied automakers General Motors and Chrysler. These companies were facing a crisis decades in the making, and having relied on loans from the previous administration, were asking for more.

  From the beginning, I made it clear that I would not put any more tax dollars on the line if it meant perpetuating the bad business decisions that had led these companies to seek help in the first place. I refused to let these companies become permanent wards of the state, kept afloat on an endless supply of taxpayer money. In other words, I refused to kick the can down the road.

  But I also recognized the importance of a viable auto industry to the well-being of families and communities across our industrial Midwest and across the United States. In the midst of a deep recession and financial crisis, the collapse of these companies would have been devastating for countless Americans, and done enormous damage to our economy beyond the auto industry. It was also clear that if GM and Chrysler remade and retooled themselves for the 21st century, it would be good for American workers, good for American manufacturing, and good for America's economy.

  I decided, then, that if GM and Chrysler and their stakeholders were willing to sacrifice for their companies survival and success; if they were willing to take the difficult, but necessary steps to restructure, and make themselves stronger, leaner, and more competitive, then the United States government would stand behind them.

  The original restructuring plans submitted by GM and Chrysler earlier this year did not call for the sweeping changes these companies needed to survive and I couldn't in good conscience proceed on that basis. So we gave them a chance to develop a stronger plan that would put them on a path toward long-term viability. The 60 days GM had to submit its revised plans have now elapsed, and I want to say a few words about where we are and what steps will be taken going forward. But before I do, I want to give you an on where things stand with Chrysler.

  When my administration took office and began going over Chrysler's books, the future of this great American car company was uncertain. In fact, it was not clear whether it had any future at all. But after consulting with my Auto Task Force, industry experts, and financial advisors, and after asking many tough questions, I became convinced that if Chrysler were willing to undergo a restructuring and if it were able to form a partnership with a viable global car company, then Chrysler could get a new lease on life.

  Well, that more promising scenario has now come to pass. Today, after taking a number of painful steps, and moving through a quick, efficient, and fair bankruptcy process, a new, stronger Chrysler is poised to complete its alliance with Fiat. Just 31 days after Chrysler's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, a court has approved the Chrysler-Fiat alliance, paving the way for a new Chrysler to emerge from bankruptcy in the next few days.

  What happens next is in the hands of their executives, managers, and workers as it is for any private company. But what the completion of this alliance means is that tens of thousands of jobs that would have been lost if Chrysler had liquidated will now be saved, and that consumers have no reason at all to worry about a restructuring even one as painful as what Chrysler underwent.

  And keep in mind many experts said that a quick, surgical bankruptcy was impossible. They were wrong. Others predicted that Chrysler's decision to enter bankruptcy would lead to an immediate collapse in consumer confidence that would send car sales over a cliff. They were wrong, as well. In fact, Chrysler sold more cars in May than it did in April, in part because consumers were comforted by our extraordinary commitment to stand behind a quick bankruptcy process. All in all, it's a dramatic an outcome dramatically better than what appeared likely when this process began.

  Now the situation we found at General Motors was very different from what we found at Chrysler largely because GM is a different kind of company. It is much larger and much more complex, with operations all over the globe. In this context, GM's management team including its new CEO, Fritz Henderson, its interim chairman, Kent Kresa, and all of their colleagueshave worked has worked tirelessly to produce a plan that meets the strict standards I laid out at the beginning: to streamline GM's brands, clean up GM's balance sheet, and make it possible for GM to compete and succeed.

  Working with my Auto Task Force, GM and its stakeholders have produced a viable, achievable plan that will give this iconic American company a chance to rise again. It's a plan tailored to the realities of today's auto market; a plan that positions GM to move toward profitability, even if it takes longer than expected for our economy to fully recover; and it's a plan that builds on GM's recent progress in making better cars. As this plan takes effect, GM will start building a larger share of its cars here at home, including fuel-efficient cars. In fact, if all goes according to plan, the share of GM cars sold in the United States that are made here will actually grow for the first time in three decades.

  Now, any time a business as large as General Motors goes through a restructuring, it is extremely difficult to find common ground among all of the company's stakeholders. But while the deal that has been worked out is tough, it is also fair. It will require the United Auto Workers to make further cuts in compensation and retiree health care benefits painful sacrifices on top of all that they have already done. It will require GM shareholders to give up the remaining value of their shares just as they would have had to do in any private restructuring of this kind. And it will also provide unsecured bondholders with an equitable outcome an outcome that will let them recover more than the current value of their claims, and substantially more than they would have recovered if the government had not intervened and GM had liquidated. That's why a majority of GM's bondholders already support this deal.

  就在两个多月前,就在此处,我与诸位探讨了美国汽车业所面临的挑战,我列出了拯救美国两大著名汽车制造商通用汽车公司和克莱斯勒公司所应采取的措施。这两家公司面临着过去几十年中孕育已久的危机,他们依赖往届政府的贷款,现在又要求政府提供更多帮助。

  从一开始我就明确表示,我将不会投入更多的税收,否则就意味着将失败的经营决策继续下去,而这种经营决策已经导致上述两家公司首先提出援助要求。我不会任凭这些公司成为国家永久的负担,靠纳税人的源源不断提供血汗钱而生存。换言之,我不会再采用权宜之计了。

  但我也承认,在以工业为主的中西部地区乃至全美,一个能独立生存的汽车企业关乎家庭及社会的福祉。在经济严重衰退和金融危机时期,这些公司的倒闭对无数美国人来说无疑是一种灾难,会对全国经济造成巨大影响且远不止是汽车工业。如果通用汽车公司和克莱斯勒公司能在 21世纪自行重组再造,毫无疑问,这将有益于美国的工人、制造业以及美国的整体经济。

  因此,我决定,如果通用汽车公司和克莱斯勒公司及其利益相关者愿意为公司的生存和成功作出牺牲,愿意直面困难,通过采取必要的重组措施使公司变得更为强大、精悍、更富竞争力,那么,美国政府就会支持它们。

  今年年初,通用汽车公司和克莱斯勒公司最初提交的重组计划中并未提出企业生存必需的全面改革计划,因此我不能愧对良心在这种条件下给予支持,我给了它们一个机会制定一项更强有力的计划,并走上长期保持生存能力的道路。然而,通用汽车公司提交修改计划的60天期限已经过去,我要对我们的现状和未来采取的措施发表看法。但是在这之前,我想讲一下克莱斯勒的最新进展。

  本届政府执政后就开始彻查克莱斯勒的账目,发现这个美国汽车业的巨头前途未卜。事实上,它是否还有前途都不得而知。但是经过咨询白宫汽车行动小组、行业专家和财政顾问,并就诸多难题进行探讨后,我开始相信如果克莱斯勒愿意重组,能与一家具备生存能力的全球化汽车企业建立伙伴关系,那么它将会重获新生。

  更多充满希望的剧情正在上演。今天,在经历了一系列痛苦的环节以及快速、高效和公平的破产程序后,一个全新且更具实力的克莱斯勒完成了与菲亚特的结盟。仅在克莱斯勒依据《破产法》第11章规定申请破产的31天后,,为克莱斯勒在未来几年中重塑自我并从破产中崛起铺平了道路。

  接下来,公司的命运就掌控在公司的高层、经理和员工的手中了,这和任何其他私营企业并无二致。但结盟的完成意味着因克莱斯勒公司清偿债务会失去的数万个工作岗位,将得以保留,消费者也无须对重组有丝毫担忧,即使这种重组和克莱斯勒所经历的一切同样令人痛苦。

  值得关注的是,许多专家曾认为外科手术式的快速破产方式不可行,然而,他们错了。另一些人预计克莱斯勒公司的破产决定将会导致消费者信心会顷刻瓦解,使汽车销量一落千丈,他们也错了。事实上,克莱斯勒公司5月的销售业绩要好于4月,部分原因是由于我们对快速破产程序做出了特别承诺,安抚了消费者。总而言之,与程序启动时相比,效果极为明显。

  如今,我们发现通用汽车公司的情况与之前克莱斯勒公司破产时大相径庭,这主要因为通用汽车公司与克莱斯勒公司不同,规模更庞大,因开展全球业务而更复杂。在这种情况下,通用汽车公司的管理层,包括新任CEO韩德胜、临时董事长肯特?克雷萨以及所有他们的同僚,孜孜不倦地制定着计划,以期达到我最初提出的严格要求:精简通用汽车品牌、清理资产负债表、使其参与竞争并取得成功成为可能。

  通用汽车公司及其利益相关者与白宫汽车行动小组一道推出了切实可行的计划,给予这个标志性的美国公司一个东山再起的机会。该计划依据现今汽车市场实际情况制定,即使我们国家的经济恢复时间比预期要长,这项计划也能够使通用汽车公司步入赢利轨道。通用汽车公司近期在制造更优质的汽车方面取得了进步,这也是拟定上述计划的基础。该计划实施生效后通用汽车公司,通用将在国内汽车市场占有更大份额,其中也包括节能汽车市场。事实上,如果一切按计划进行,本土生产的通用汽车在美国的市场份额将在近30年内首次实现增长。

  任何时候,像通用汽车这种规模庞大的公司进行重组时,要使全体股东达成共识谈何容易?尽管通用汽车公司的重组协议让人难以接受,却又是很公平的。协议要求汽车工人联合会进一步削减赔偿金和退休人员健康保险福利。此前,他们已经做出了诸多让步,然而这一次的牺牲无疑是最痛苦的。协议要求通用汽车公司的股东们放弃目前所持股份任何此类私营企业重组时都会采取这一做法。此外,该协议还为无担保债券持有人提供了一份较为公正的条款使他们所获股份比他们本身要求的还高,远远高于政府不予干预而任由通用汽车公司破产清算所能给出的价值。因此,大多数通用汽车公司债券持有人均表示拥护这一方案。