Auto Chiefs To Carpool To Washington For Their Next Beggary

From today’s Globe

DETROIT – After being skewered by Congress and lampooned on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” the CEOs of Detroit’s three automakers may end up making their return trip to Washington by car as they seek a federal bailout.

If that’s how they manage things in Detroit it’s no wonder their industry is in dire straits.

The Detroit area’s auto industry, whose livelihood depends on the health of Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., spent the weekend e-mailing and discussing how to set up a car caravan to seek help from Congress.

A car caravan? Is that supposed to be something like a mobile Hooverville? Guys who make tens of millions of dollars a year screwing up the environment and buying politicians are going to perform their imitation of poor people begging for money by being chauffeured to Washington in luxury cars? (You know these clowns won’t be driving themselves.)

If they were smart they would have just shut up and flown business class to their next begging. But they’ve shown over the years that they aren’t smart except in the limited ways mentioned above (screwing the environment and buying pols).

In fairness The Lion notes that the story attributes the idea not to the CEOs of the Big Three but to suppliers, collateral businesses, and the UAW. But given the amount of financial incest in the industry, it’s fair to believe that the CEOs may well have had something to do with the buzz.

They’ll pull a transparent, cheap PR stunt to suck taxpayer dollars out of Washington to pay for their stupidity and failures.

It beggars belief.

(Tell the truth now. How many of you saw that last line coming?)

The story does not mention how the chief honchos of the financial industry biggies like AIG and CitiGroup managed to get to their hearings. Probably in corporate jets, but nobody complained about that. Of course they’re so wired into the politicians and the Bushies like Paulson and Bernanke that they probably only had to have their third assistant secretaries make a couple of phone calls to get the money.

Yes, it beggars belief, and it will beggar the country whether the taxpayers, scratch that – the taxpayers have had no say in this disaster – the politicians give away the money or do nothing.

One thing’s sure – someone should be going to jail, and it’s equally sure that no one will.

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9 Responses

  1. “spent the weekend e-mailing and discussing how to set up a car caravan to seek help from Congress.”

    Uh… excuse me, but all you need to do is say “Let’s meet out at location X and we’ll all drive together.” (in one car)

    Wow! The enormity of their stupidity boggles the mind.

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  2. No auto exec is going to sit in a car from another manufacturer. They’ll need 3 cars minimum, or better yet, just take a train or bus.

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  3. Why take one car when at least three will do better? I like the bus idea. Can you imagine these idiots riding a Greyhound from Detroit to DC? I’d ride along with them just for the laughs.

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  4. Chappie: They’d rent a coach from an excursion company. Most likely one with an open bar. Or they could rent one of those busses from Las Vegas in which exotic dancers perform whilst the bus drives around.

    Of course, then they would have the argument about who made the bus.

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  5. So was Alan Mulally driving a Toyota or Lexus?

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  6. Instead of just carticipating to D.C., they should also encourage all dealerships to mark all their vehicles as “carticipation ready”. Giving one or two people a lift in a Suburban beats the gas mileage on a prius, and it is a much nicer ride. That is how you get those cars of the lots.

    We gave a talk on carticipation at the Silicon Valley iPhone Developers’ Meetup in Palo Alto last week and posted the video here (select “high quality” mode):

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  7. I’ll bet that if you did the math there wouldn’t be a whole lot of difference either in monetary savings or carbon footprint terms between a car caravan and taking a regular commercial flight. It’s all about the optics; they think this will make them look contrite, when all it really does is make them look inefficient. There’s a lesson in there, but they won’t learn it. Feh.

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  8. Actually, I think it “buggers” belief.

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  9. I think it’s more of a case of the pols and the rich folks buggering the taxpayers.

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