GM says it needs $12 billion loans by late March

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General Motors says it needs $4 billion in government loans this month and a total of $12 billion by late March to keep operating. The troubled automaker says it plans to slash its numbers of workers, vehicle brands and plants by 2012.

Altogether, the auto giant is seeking up to $18 billion in government funding — including a $6 billion line of credit in case market conditions worsen.

General Motors Corp. would focus on 4 brands — Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac. By 2012, the plan calls for 20,000 to 30,000 fewer workers, a reduction of nine facilities and 1,750 fewer dealers.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner is offering to work for a dollar a year and top executives will take major pay cuts.

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