March 23, 2020 / 6:02 PM / 9 days ago

Auto industry urges U.S. lawmakers to ensure 'sufficient liquidity'

FILE PHOTO: Cars are pictured at the General Motors Co plant, that will give time off to its employees during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major automakers, parts suppliers and auto dealers urged U.S. lawmakers on Monday to provide “robust credit facilities” to ensure “sufficient liquidity” in the auto industry despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Trade groups representing the companies including General Motors Co (GM.N), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), said in a letter Monday that Congress should set up facilities “to provide loans and loan guarantees to large employers, medium-size manufacturers and small businesses.”

The letter noted analysts expect U.S. auto sales to fall by 40% in March as about 95% of U.S. auto plants are currently closed, impacting about 165,000 workers.

(This story corrects to reflect that auto groups project a 40% decline in March U.S. vehicle sales)

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese

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