Big Three auto makers plea for help - but still fly in style2008-11-20 21:25:12 (GMT) (Caymanmama.com - Automotive News)
Ford, Chrysler, General Motors CEO executives as Congress to assist them before conditions go from bad to worse, but still fly in million dollar jet
Denver, Colorado (CaymanMama.com) — The head executives of the nation’s automotive Big 3 were in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to ask the government for a $25 billion emergency package to save the nation’s failing auto industry.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli and General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner seemed to have an air of desperation about them asking for American taxpayers to assist them before conditions go from bad to worse.
Although they came for help and with a rightful purpose, Congress was reluctant to agree to providing aid.
Wagoner reasoned with the House Financial Services Committee telling them that the ultimate downfall of American auto industry could result in a loss of 3 million jobs within the first year and effect communities around the nation.
However, the question was raised about the means in which the executives traveled to the D.C. meeting using private, company owned, luxurious jets.
Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste said, “This is a slap in the face of taxpayers. To come to Washington on a corporate jet, and asking for a hand out is outrageous. It appears that the senior management of the automakers simply don’t get it.”
Trying to divert attention back to the issue at hand, Ford CEO Mulally explained to Congress that the company has cut expenses, laid off workers and closed 17 Ford plants. In spite of all that, Ford continues to operate a fleet of eight private jets for its executives, clearly negating his plea for aid.
According to a report by ABC news, one jet is used to fly Ford executives to Los Angeles, another on a trip to Nebraska.
John McElroy of Autoline Detroit said, “Now’s not the time to do that sort of thing. Now’s the time to be humble and show that you’re sharing equally in the sacrifice.”
GM has has a fleet of eight luxury jets and has no plans on selling any of them, even during this time of financial crisis. The GM jet cost the company $36 million to transport their CEO to the meeting with Congress.
President-Elect Obama has advocated for a bailout of the U.S. car companies though Americans should be aware of how their tax dollars are being spent — either to aid the auto industry or to enable the Big Three executives to fly in style.
The nation as a whole should hope that any auto bailout that Obama stamps with his seal of approval incorporates some sort of oversight on executive privileges.
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