General Motors and Chrysler may not need any more federal money on top of US$17.4bn in loans already approved, a leading auto union official has said.

United Auto Workers (UAW) president Ron Gettelfinger told a US industry newspaper: "If we can get by without more money, that's what we want to do."

Sales would determine cash burn and he hoped volume would not dip over 1m units below last year's 13.2m.

Ford's top sales analyst recently pegged the 2009 US market at 12.5m units.

The $13.4 billion earmarked for GM may be sufficient, said a source close to the company. Adding in the $6bn allocated to GMAC, the automaker effectively got more than the $18bn originally requested.

A GM source told the paper the $13.4bn destined for GM might be sufficient and said the automaker had no plans to ask for more.

The source described the "downside scenario" for US sales this year as 10.5m and said it would be "anybody's guess" if the result was worse.