Archive for Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Automakers ground jets for trip to Washington

December 3, 2008


— If the Detroit Three automakers have learned anything since their last trip to Washington, it’s that the old way of doing business just won’t fly.

So the decision by auto executives to travel in hybrid cars rather than corporate jets is just the start to overhauling their image as the industry pleads its case for $25 billion in federal loans.

Automakers “should not be afraid to acknowledge their mistakes,” said Adam Mendelsohn, a partner in Mercury Public Affairs and former communications director for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It’s not necessarily a weakness. It’s actually a positive. It will send a very clear message that they intend to make changes.”

The CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are making the roughly 525-mile trek from Detroit to Washington in hopes of securing loans to help them through the recession and the worst sales downturn in 25 years. Hearings are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally, an alumnus of Lawrence High School and Kansas University, left for the capital Tuesday afternoon in a small Ford Escape sport utility vehicle, which runs on gas and electricity. Rick Wagoner of GM departs Wednesday in a hybrid Chevrolet Malibu. Chrysler LLC said its chief executive, Robert Nardelli, would leave Tuesday night, driving a hybrid Dodge Durango or Chrysler Aspen SUV.


Chris Ogle 9 years ago

If they really expect to drive a Ford, GM, or Chrysler on a five hundred mile trip, they better leave early. Car problems would not be a good excuse for holding up the meeting. Hint..... drive a KIA, and be on time.

jmadison 9 years ago

Do any members of Congress fly on private jets rather than commercial airlines?

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years ago

OK, hawkperchedatriverfront, I'll bite. How do you get that Mulally "is taking 3 vehicles?"

hornhunter 9 years ago

“It’s not necessarily a weakness. It’s actually a positive. It will send a very clear message that they intend to make changes.”They won't change it just shows that they got their hybrid hanks slapped, its an alternative to foreplay.

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years ago

Huh. I still haven't figured out how hawkperchedatriverfront read into this article that Mulally is taking three vehicles.

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