Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Automotive CEOs to make changes before next meeting...

Ford Motor Co. will tell Congress that it plans to return to a pretax profit or break even in 2011 when its CEO appears before two legislative committees this week.

Also, CEO Alan Mulally said he'll work for $1 per year if the automaker has to take any government loan money.

The plans Ford submitted to Congress on Tuesday also say the company will cancel all management employees' 2009 bonuses and will not pay any merit increases for its North American salaried employees next year.

The company also said it will sell its five corporate aircraft. The CEOs of all three Detroit automakers were harshly criticized during congressional hearings last month for flying to Washington in separate corporate jets while seeking loan money.[...]

Mulally said Ford will seek $9 billion in government loans but may not need them. The Dearborn-based company has said it has enough cash to make it through next year without assistance.

As part of the plan submitted to Congress, Ford said it does not anticipate a liquidity crisis in 2009, "barring a bankruptcy by one of its domestic competitors or a more severe economic downturn that would further cripple automotive sales." The loan would provide a safeguard against worsening conditions, the company said.

The company said it will accelerate plans to roll out plug-in electric vehicles as part of its plan. The vehicles will come out starting in 2010 and include the Transit Connect small van and a car the size of the Ford Focus compact.
Very admirable, Ford. What say you, GM?
This time, GM Chief Rick Wagoner will drive a company car to Washington instead of flying by corporate jet as he seeks a government bailout, a spokesman says.

Wagoner will drive in a Chevrolet Malibu hybrid sedan when he makes the 520-mile trek from Detroit to Capitol Hill, General Motors Corp. spokesman Tony Cervone said Tuesday.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally also is traveling by car from Detroit for his second appearance before two legislative committees as the Detroit automakers seek $25 billion in government loans. Chrysler LLC CEO Robert Nardelli will not travel by corporate jet. A spokeswoman says his travel plans will remain secret for security reasons.

All three executives are returning to Congress for hearings on Thursday and Friday. They are seeking the bailout loans to help them through the recession and the worst sales downturn in 25 years.

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