The CEO's of Ford, GM and Chrysler left Washington yesterday empty handed. Hopefully, this ends any talk of a bailout for the automotive industry. Clearly, these companies don't need additional capital. Instead, they need to hire someone to better manage their current finances. After all, it's hard for me to empathize with these beggars when I struggle to afford an airline ticket on coach while they continually enjoy the luxuries of a private jet.
Yesterday, Rep. Brad Sherman of California derailed the automotive executives by requesting them to "raise their hand if they flew here commercial." Sherman continued, "Let the record show, no hands went up. Second, I'm going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up."
After the hearing, the Big 3 released the following statements:
GM- "Making a big to-do about this when issues vital to the jobs of millions of Americans are being discussed in Washington is diverting attention away from a critical debate that will determine the future health of the auto industry and the American economy," (GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson)
Chrysler-"while always being mindful of company costs, all business travel requires the highest standard of safety for all employees." (Chrysler spokeswoman Lori McTavish)
Ford declined to comment through spokesperson Kelli Felker. Instead, they hid behind their company policies. Well, it sounds to me like there needs to be some modifications made to Ford's long standing procedures. In the same way, GM better learn that while they may not think it's a big deal, it's a huge bone of contention among us taxpayers. In addition, Chrysler needs to come up with a better excuse than personal safety. Face it, very few people would even recognize an automotive executive. Even if someone did, how and why would they be subjected to any more danger than anyone else?
Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group estimates that it costs approximately $20,000 for a round trip corporate jet flight between Detroit and Washington. I just priced a last minute (Nov 22-24) airline ticket from Detroit to Reagan National Airport. Even at this late stage, someone could fly round trip on Air Tran Airways for for $260 total.
It's pretty shameful that these guys had the audacity to show up in thousand dollar suits with a tin cup in their hands. Next time, they should save their $20,000 and use that money towards hiring a financial consultant.