Recession forces Detroit's Big Three to beg for loans

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One day after it was officially announced that the United States has been in a recession since last year, the nation?s Big Three automakers outlined plans for billions of dollars they need to stay in business.

Chrysler President Jim Press made an early plea for a government bailout at a town hall-style meeting in Baltimore.

"Our customers don't have credit, our dealers don't have credit, we don't have credit, and all we need is this loan to bridge through, and we can see our plan come to fruition," Press said.

According to the latest figures, Ford's domestic sales fell 31 percent last month, prompting CEO Alan Mulally to make a promise that he will work for $1 a year if his company is saved.

The automakers will appear before Congress Thursday and Friday to explain why they need government loans and how the money will be spent. Ahead of the meeting on Capitol Hill, the heads of Ford and GM said they will be traveling to Washington in their companies? cost-saving hybrid cars instead flying in corporate jets, which had previously angered U.S. representatives.

In the meantime, President-elect Barack Obama met in Philadelphia with the nation's governors, who are now being forced to cut state services and lay off workers due to the recession.

"We're going to need passing an economic recovery plan that [would] help Wall Street and Main Street," Obama said.

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