"They're not quite there yet," he said.
Making the industry successful, the president said, is "going to mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved, management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers."
Geithner echoed some of the president's comments on ABC's "This Week" this morning.
"We want [the auto industry] to emerge from this period of challenge stronger. That's going to require a lot of restructuring," he said. "We're prepared as a government to help that process if we believe it's going to provide the basis for a stronger industry in the future that's not going to rely on government support."
The government's plans for the auto industry are being devised by a presidential task force that includes Steven Rattner, a former investment banker, and Ron Bloom, a restructuring expert who has worked with both labor unions and banks.
The government's efforts extend beyond the automakers themselves. Earlier this month, the Treasury Department announced a program providing $5 billion to help struggling auto suppliers pay their employees and cover their expenses.
"The Supplier Support Program will help stabilize a critical component of the American auto industry during the difficult period of restructuring the lies ahead," Geithner said in a written statement.
ABC News' Charles Herman and Bianna Golodryga contributed to this report.