DETROIT (AP) -- Despite receiving billions in federal loans designed to prevent the automaker from failing, General Motors Corp.'s chief executive said a bankruptcy protection filing could still be possible, according to reports.
GM doesn't want to file for Chapter 11, but the Detroit-based automaker's long-term viability is "not 100 percent" certain right now, Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner told The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times for Tuesday stories.
But Wagoner said he's confident that the automaker will be able to avoid a bankruptcy protection filing this year.
GM recently received $9.4 billion in federal loans and could get another $4 billion if it's able to negotiate labor cost cuts and reach a deal with its bondholders to lower its debt.
Wagoner said he met last week with restructuring advisers and left convinced "there are options that can work in each of these areas." He added that he's optimistic about talks with the union.
But Wagoner warned that GM could be forced to ask for additional loans after March 31.
GM, along with Chrysler LLC which received $4 billion in loans, has until Feb. 17 to hammer out changes to its current labor contracts that would bring worker costs in line with those of employees at foreign auto companies' plants in the U.S.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger has said the union will approach President-elect Barack Obama's administration to end what he called unfair requirements in the loan terms for concessions from the union.
Meanwhile, both automakers must negotiate with the bondholders to substantially lower their debt. But to do so, the automakers need to have other aspects, such as unions concessions, figured out.
GM shares fell 13 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $4.02 in morning trading.