Not-So-Big Three Automakers Take Corporate Jets To Beg For Money From Congress

Illustration for article titled Not-So-Big Three Automakers Take Corporate Jets To Beg For Money From Congress

It's probably a bad thing to fly a private jet from Detroit to Washington, DC when you're going to ask Congress to provide you a multi-billion dollar loan to bail you out of a financial crisis. That fact hasn't stopped Ford's Alan Mulally, along with the heads of the other automakers, who not only flew to D.C. in the Ford private jet but are, apparently, unwilling to fully cut themselves from the corporate crack that is their private air forces. This really disturbs us. We've been having all sorts of problems with the way the US automakers have managed their message in making the ask for money from the Feds for survival. First they weren't getting their message out. Now, however, they're getting the wrong message out. Frankly, when folks begin saying things like this:

When the management of these automakers start acting like they’re in crisis, then perhaps we’ll believe them. They’ve come to Congress not to rescue their companies but to salvage their lifestyles. This is an industry that desperately needs bankruptcy and collapse to put an end to unrealistic labor deals and obnoxious executive behavior. The American taxpayer doesn’t have any business subsidizing this failure."

You know you've got a problem not even a Rick Wagoner-penned op-ed in the WSJ will solve. What GM, Ford and Chrysler need to do is start getting the PR people in charge of fixing their image problem ASAP. If the PR people were already running the show, fire them and bring in new ones who understand the importance of a strong public image right now. Then sell the planes — despite there probably being a rational reason for them — fix your image and get back to the task at hand. You know, saving your company. [Hot Air]

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Ash78, voting early and often

I'll say in their defense, as the relative of someone who sells these jets for a living: There is often a pretty good business case for execs doing this. Sure, there is almost always an element of entitlement or luxury to it, but usually it's just the best use of time.

If these guys are so grossly overpaid, would you rather they spend 4 hours commuting (with airport transfers, connections, etc) or 2 hours going direct?

Ironically, the better use of executive time is often the jet.