Thursday, November 20, 2008

GM Execs Blow Their "Poor Us" Image

When you come looking for a handout, don't arrive in a three thousand dollar suit. This bit of news struck me as so similar to that scene in Steve Martin's "the Jerk" when he keeps getting hit up for donations from the rich as well as poor. I love the scene where the Texas millionaire with the private plane comes begging for cash to replace the cracked leather of his seats. Steve Martin, in tears from the man's sob story writes him a check. Pretty funny in a comedy but it could never happen in real life right? Well it has.

The CEOs of the big three automakers flew to the nation's capital Tuesday in private luxurious jets to make their case to Washington that the auto industry is running out of cash and needs $25 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy. Even as their companies fail, Ford and GE CEOs continue lavish lifestyles.The CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler may have told Congress that they will likely go out of business without a bailout yet that has not stopped them from traveling in style, not even First Class is good enough.

All three CEOs - Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler - exercised their perks Tuesday by flying in corporate jets to DC. Wagoner flew in GM's $36 million luxury aircraft to tell members of Congress that the company is burning through cash, asking for $10-12 billion for GM alone.

Someone, anyone in their PR department or marketing department really should have told them to remain consistent with their messaging. Remember two contradictory messages always cancel each other out! Today lame-duck President George Bush announced he has "no appetite" for a big three bailout.

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