CHICAGO - When General Motors Corp. last week lobbied Detroit's two pension funds to invest in its prominent downtown headquarters to help raise $500 million, some saw it as an illustration of the severity of the fiscal pressures facing the U.S. auto industry.

The proposal, somewhat coldly received by the pension funds - "This little fund is too small for this deal," one trustee was quoted as saying after GM's presentation - came amid a flurry of bad news for the Detroit Three last week.

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