Media speculation suggests General Motors chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner will reveal plans to axe more white collar jobs, close more factories and boost liquidity at a news conference on Tuesday (15 July) in Detroit.

The company would say only the meeting is "to discuss actions the company is taking to align the business to current market conditions".

Those current market conditions include US sales off 8% last month and 16% for the first half and dealer lots so stuffed with gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs GM recently announced plans to shutter four plants making them.

In contrast, sales outside North America, now accounting for roughly 60%, are booming with records recently broken in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. But GM's US managers have attracted criticism for not making plans earlier to sell locally some of the fuel-efficient cars popular in Europe and emerging markets.

Analysts have also been fretting over GM's cash flow. It reportedly has US$24bn in the bank but is burning through $1bn a month. GM is expected to raise another $10-15bn, according to reports, and may announce that today.

Its share price, now below $10, is also causing concern and there have been pithy comparisons noting the giant automaker is now worth less than Mattel - a maker of toy cars - or a major homewares retailer.

There has also been talk that GM might eventually have to seek bankruptcy protection, something many US suppliers are familiar with of later. But Wagoner has dismissed such talk and also nixed suggestions GM could ditch more of its eight US brands as well as Hummer, already on the review block.

Himanshu Patel at JPMorgan told the Financial Times GM had several options to bolster liquidity, including secured debt, delaying the transfer of its blue-collar healthcare plan to the United Auto Workers union, issuing new equity and further trimming capital outlays.

The FT also noted that GM shares were now at their lowest level in over 50 years.

As one US commentator put it, the last time they were that low, power brakes were new and the [Chevrolet] Bel Air was the company's hottest seller.

"Sources familiar with the matter" told news agency Dow Jones would today announce salaried job cuts and the need for more US manufacturing capacity reductions. GM also may announce a dividend cut, the sources added.

Dow Jones said the white-collar cuts likely would hit GM's US engineering operations hard as the automaker has postponed plans to build a next generation of pick-up trucks, the company's most labour-intensive product line in North America.

A source told Reuters some GM managers had been told last week to be ready for job cuts under the latest restructuring.