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Automakers to ask for at least $34 billion

DETROIT, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. automakers say they are requesting at least $34 billion in bailout loans from federal lawmakers, jumping past the assumed sum of $25 billion.

General Motors Corp.'s plan revealed Tuesday includes a request for an $18 billion loan, while Ford Motor Co. is asking for $9 billion, CNNMoney.com reported.

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Chyrsler LLC was expected to ask for $7 billion, The New York Times said.

GM said it would need $12 billion to survive past 2009, but is requesting an extra $4 billion as a cushion. Its plan suggests dropping Saturn and Pontiac brands.

Ford said it would produce 1 million small cars per year and trim the models' complexity to make them more profitable, CNN reported.

All three have said they would cut chief executive salaries to $1 a year. Ford also said it would also sell its corporate jets, while GM said it would sell four jets and keep three.

U.S. automakers are scheduled to present arguments Thursday for a $25 billion federal bailout in Washington.

"They have to come back with a very persuasive case," David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research told USA Today.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that "bankruptcy is not an option."

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