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Obama Reads Chrysler, GM The Riot Act, Ford Suppresses Smug Smile

Posted in auto industry, Cars, Chrysler, Detroit, Fiat, Ford, GM, Newsworthy, Politics by Suzanne Denbow | March 30th, 2009 | 4 Responses |

WASHINGTON – MARCH 30: U.S. President Barack Obama makes an announcement at the Grand Foyer of the White House March 30, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Following the earth-shattering announcement made yesterday regarding Rick Wagoner’s forced resignation from the helm of General Motors, President Obama appeared before the press this morning to officially address the tumultuous state of the automotive industry. According to Obama, the restructuring proposals submitted by both Chrysler and GM were inadequate and in order to qualify for the next volley of federal funding, they will need to begin playing by a new set of rules. Although initial sources denied the maneuver was a tenant of Obama’s new plan, the President himself confirmed during his address this morning that Wagoner’s departure from GM was indeed a term of his new aggressive auto bailout policy. Officially under the new managment of former GM chief operating officer, Fritz Henderson, GM now has 60 days with which to draft a new plan for future viability and subsequently submit it to Congress for approval.

On the other side of Detroit, Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli managed to escape the federal pink slip, but his company has been deemed unfit to survive on its own and has been ordered to merge with partner Fiat SpA within 30 days. Should either automaker fail to meet Obama’s demands, access to government funding will be immediately cut off and, barring any instant, miraculous upswing in profit, both companies will be forced into bankruptcy. Anxious to avoid spooking the cattle, Obama was quick to explain, “What I am not talking about is a process where a company is broken up, sold off, and no longer exists…and what I am not talking about is having a company stuck in court for years, unable to get out.” What’s more, Obama also confirmed that the government is currently in the process of hammering out a program that would guarantee the warranties on any GM or Chrysler vehicle should either automaker be forced to shut down.

Noticeably absent from the bureaucratic bloodbath this morning was Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally, who continues to affirm that Ford will not need government assistance to weather the financial storm. Although regarded by some as wildly unorthodox decision, Ford plans to forgo on a federal bailout, relying instead on the renegade concepts of “building higher quality products” and “making sound business decisions.” It’s so crazy, it just might work.

Source: Detroit News
Image Cred: Getty Images

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4 Responses

  1. Nathan Redden says:

    The reason why Ford is not needing assistance is because they leveraged their asses off right before the economy went to Hell. They still face the same problems as the other two, and without an industry turnaround they’ll be coming to Barry O. as well.

  2. markdown mom says:

    Hopeless: Fights are breaking out over Michigan in response to layoffs spurned by Obama’s choice for bankruptcy above all other options. Watch video:


  3. KT D says:

    This whole situation makes me nervous. I’m hoping the government’s moves will end up helping GM and Chrysler in the long-run, but–as of now–it seems like a clouded guess as to whether the firing of Wagoner, etc. will truly help overall. Ford seems to be hiding, but maybe Mulally is being perfectly honest–they have to be doing better than GM at this point. And, who knows? Maybe their plans to build “higher quality products” and make better decisions will actually work. Then, Ford would certainly have a place to smile. I watched an interesting video on Wagoner’s forced resignation earlier today at newsy.com. It brings up different viewpoints–like the government’s role in all of this and its potential inconsistency–and, in my opinion, is worth watching. Take a look:


  4. squireofgothos says:

    If I had money, I’d be running out to buy a Ford right now…