The Not-So-Big Three are heading to the hill, hat-in-hand and plane-in-hanger, in an effort to get the bridge loans they need to make it across the troubled economic waters. What should they say?
Thankfully, the pressure is off given their hideous performance in front of House and Senate Committees two weeks ago. It's time to Tuesday-morning QB by putting yourself in the congressional hearing room.
Threatening hasn't worked for GM's image. Chrysler's obfuscation and baseless optimism (look at our imaginary electric car) in the face of bad news hasn't helped them, either. We think Ford's plan is actually a step in the right direction because it suggests change needs to happen and, with the $1 CEO pay, includes a sign of contrition. Unfortunately, it isn't significantly different from what Ford has promised in the past. What the companies need to do is offer a plan for a serious and dramatic restructuring the likes of which Detroit has yet seen. Their future product lineups may be appealing, but the structure that brings them to market is still fundamentally flawed. Whether it is government-led restructuring or some form of supervised merger, these three companies need to face the harsh realities.
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