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U.S. Faulted for Pushing GM, Chrysler to Speed Dealer Closings

The Obama administration’s push to accelerate General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC dealership closings, aimed at helping the companies compete, may not have been necessary and added to unemployment, a U.S. watchdog said.

The Treasury Department should have considered whether speeding up the closings was worth the potential loss of tens of thousands of jobs, according to a report released yesterday by Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The U.S. had rejected reorganization plans from the carmakers in March 2009, in part citing a “slow pace” for GM to scale back its dealer network.