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The car makers’ CEOS will be back on Capitol Hill to beg harder for their $25 billion bailout. It seems they’ve learned from the public relations debacle from last month:
Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally says he’ll work for $1 per year if the automaker has to take any government loan money.
The plan Ford is presenting to Congress this week also says it will cancel all management employees’ 2009 bonuses and will not pay any merit increases for its North American salaried employees next year. Mulally said in an interview Tuesday that Ford will emphasize its cost cutting efforts with the United Auto Workers union and will give much more detail to Congress than it did during a visit earlier this month. The company also will accelerate plans to roll out electric cars as part of the plan it will present to Congress this week. Mulally says Ford has said it has enough cash to make it through 2009 and may not need government help.
Top executives at the Big Three U.S. automakers are returning to Congress for hearings on Thursday and Friday. They are seeking the bailout loans to help them through the recession and the worst sales downturn in 25 years. A GM spokesman says Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will travel to Washington, D.C., by car instead of flying a commercial airline or corporate jet.
But where’s the beef? Without fundamental structural changes in the auto industry related to its bloated labor costs, these concessions are cosmetic gimmicks.
Waiting for more Kabuki bailout theater to begin…
Update: Say what? The White House says it is “sticking to its guns” and demanding that the automakers “prove” their “viability” before Bush will support the bailout. But if they can prove their “viability,” why do they need my money?
The White House said on Tuesday that it was sticking with its position that ailing automakers must prove their viability before receiving government aid, as the industry’s top three companies presented plans to Congress.
“We are sticking to our guns that the companies have to prove that they are viable before the taxpayer dollars should be given to them,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters traveling with President George W. Bush to North Carolina.