GM workers, others ponder economic survival after bankruptcy filing

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors is hoping for a short, surgical and successful bankruptcy. But many whose lives are intertwined with the company saying it's going to be far more difficult and messier than fixing a balance sheet.

One woman who runs a business that sells food to and cashes checks for GM workers near an assembly plant slated to close in Pontiac, Michigan, says she's going to have to "downsize everything" including the number of people she employs.

The mayor of Mansfield, Ohio, says the city was already have budget problems and the closing of a nearby metal stamping plant will force it to cut more jobs.

And the owner of Sam's Tailor Shop in GM's Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit says most of his business comes from GM employees, so if the automaker were to leave, he'd have no choice but to close as well.

Meanwhile, in New York, GM CEO Fritz Henderson said the new GM will be a leaner and quicker company that's more focused on its customers and its products.

Henderson spoke Monday at a news conference in New York after the fallen icon of American industry filed for bankruptcy protection. President Barack Obama says it is part of a "viable achievable plan" that will give the company "a chance to rise again."

Henderson says the new GM will be built from the strongest parts of its business, including its best brands and best products.

The company plans to focus on four core brands - Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC - and get rid of four others - Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab.

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