Mr Obama is expected to announce additional aid for the two struggling car manufacturers today as both run perilously low in cash reserves.
President Obama did not specify what steps he would announce. He did however say the carmakers had more work to do to reduce costs in the face of slumping demand.
"We're trying to let them know that we want to have a successful auto industry, US auto industry. We think we can have a successful US auto industry. But it's got to be one that's realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge ... much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is," Mr Obama said. "That's going to mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved - management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers. Everybody's going to have to come to the table and say it's important for us to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road."
President Obama added: "They're not there yet."