UPDATED--Workers fret as Ford, GM cuts expected Friday

GM reports $2.5B loss

DETROIT, Mich. (AP) - General Motors says it suffered a third quarter loss of $2.5 billion. It warns that it could run out of cash in 2009, if the U.S. economic slump continues and it doesn't get government aid.

GM also reveals that it has suspended talks to acquire Chrysler. While it didn't specifically name the automaker, GM said it was setting aside considerations for a "strategic acquisition."

The automaker said its cash burn for the quarter accelerated to $6.9 billion, adding that government aid will be "essential" because of the slow economy and credit crisis.

The move comes hours after Ford said it lost $129 million for its third quarter and will cut about 2,260 more white-collar workers in North America.

GM says government aid is "essential" to help the U.S. auto industry through the downturn.

Workers worry

DETROIT (AP) - It's worry time once again at General Motors and Ford factories across North America.

Both companies were expected to make announcements Friday morning. General Motors has delayed filing a financial report.

Trading in GM stock shares was halted at 11:04 EST Thursday; trading has resume.

Ford announces a $3 billion operating loss and a drop in car sales of 25 percent. It is said the automaker will let 10 percent of its workforce go.

According to Ford's top sales analyst and two people briefed on GM's plans, neither automaker plans to announce factory closures. But they are likely to cut production by eliminating shifts, overtime bans or temporary plant shutdowns.

Ford has cut about 41,000 hourly jobs since 2006. The latest round of cuts will leave it with about 42,000 hourly workers in the U.S.

GM had about 125,000 U.S. hourly employees in 2003 and expects that to be 62,500 by the end of this year.

Local reaction

News 11 spoke by phone with Wanda Montion, spokesperson for the GM Powertrain plant in Toledo and the plant in Defiance. This is what she told us based on today's 3rd Quarter results: "It's too soon to speculate how if any impact it will have on our Toledo facility and in Defiance... In terms of our fuel efficiency, I feel very confident about what we have to offer the company."

More on CNNMoney.com

Detroit under siege: Ford auto unit burns through $6.3 billion and cuts 2,600 hourly workers. GM to announce its results soon.

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