America’s biggest automaker described last night’s auto industry announcement by president Obama as beginning “a new era for the US auto industry” [which] also marks a defining moment in the history of General Motors” and acknowledged its final restructuring could include a “court-supervised process”.

Noting that the US treasury would provide working capital financing for GM for 60 days “while GM completes a more accelerated and aggressive restructuring to put the company on sound long-term financial footing”, GM said: “We understand the historic opportunity this presents, and we are fully committed to successfully completing the reinvention of GM.

“During the next 60 days, GM will address the tough issues to improve the long-term viability of the company, including the restructuring of the financial obligations to the bond holders, unions and other stakeholders.

“Our strong preference is to complete this restructuring out of court. However, GM will take whatever steps are necessary to successfully restructure the company, which could include a court-supervised process.”

New CEO Fritz Henderson added: “The US treasury has said that it strongly believes that a substantial restructuring will lead to a viable GM. Over the next 60 days, we will work around the clock, with all parties, to meet the aggressive requirements that have been set by the task force, and to make the fundamental and lasting changes necessary to reinvent GM for the long-term.”

“We have significant challenges ahead of us, and a very tight timeline.”