Last week we wrote about the PR fallout from the disastrous trip to Washington by Detroit automakers looking for a bailout. Well, according to the Associated Press after being skewered by the U.S. Congress and lampooned on a very funny skit on "Saturday Night Live," click here to watch the CEOs of Detroit's three automakers may end up making their return trip to Washington by car as they seek a federal bailout.
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 giant car caravan to seek help from Congress.
What's for certain is GM CEO Rick Wagoner won't be going to Washington by corporate jet, although the company's policy is not to comment on executive travel plans for security reasons, said spokesman Tony Cervone. A Chrysler spokeswoman wouldn't comment on executive travel plans, and a message was left for a Ford spokesman.
The carpool idea came out of meetings on Friday at Dura Automotive Systems Inc., an auto parts maker in suburban Rochester Hills. President and CEO Tim Leuliette said that during the weekend they contacted the automakers, suppliers, dealership groups and the United Auto Workers and the movement began building.
"The proper people are talking to the proper people, and things are getting put together," said Leuliette. "This really picked up momentum over the weekend."
Industry representatives want Congress to see not just three CEOs in suits during the hearings, but the many people dependent on the automakers for their livelihoods, Leuliette said.We promise to keep you posted on the further actions by the executives PR team to mitigate their earlier mistakes.