Auto CEOs Promise To Ditch The Private Jets And Drive To Washington

The big three auto CEOs Bob “Big Bob” Nardelli, Alan “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane” Mulally, and our personal favorite Rick “The Station” Wagoner are apparently going to drive to Washington to beg for your money. Previously, they all flew on private jets.

Consumer Reports gives us the lowdown on what kind of cars the CEOs will be driving:

Mulally is driving a Ford Escape Hybrid, according to Automotive News. We’re currently in the process of testing a similar 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The 2005 Escape Hybrid we tested got 26 mpg overall in our testing—very good for an SUV. Other options for Mulally’s interstate drive included the Focus sedan with a manual (29 mpg) or automatic transmission (26 mpg). Or the upcoming Fusion Hybrid.

Wagoner is taking a Chevrolet Malibu hybrid (27 mpg), a comfortable road-trip-ready car featured in the family sedan test group in our latest issue. We found the fuel economy gains to be mild for a hybrid. (In the same group, the higher-scoring Hyundai Sonata four-cylinder got 26 mpg overall, and it cost thousands less.) Another option would have been the Chevrolet Aveo; we have tested three and the best overall mpg was 28 on a manual version, notably less than several competitors. As a long-distance cruiser, the Aveo leaves much to be desired, which arguably is a good reason for Wagoner to savor the experience. Shame he couldn’t pilot a Chevrolet Volt prototype to Capitol Hill.

Nardelli has the toughest choice to make. The company recently canceled its only hybrid products, Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango, just weeks after production began. Scanning the product line, there isn’t much there that promises good fuel economy or touts leading-edge “green” technologies.

We suggest that they all take the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Together.

Automakers head to Washington – What should they drive? [Consumer Reports]
(Photo: AdamL212 )

Comments

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  1. Ben Popken says:

    Make them hitchhike.

  2. olderbudwizer says:

    I’m encouraging my Senator to require them to shut down their foreign factories and bring all manufacturing back into the US before any money is committed. If they can’t afford to operate 17 or 30 plants – fine. Operate 5 big ones and let the workers, the unions, and the economy work out the costing – it is what it is.

    • smythe says:

      @olderbudwizer: Uhhh. The idea is that we would like for them to be profitable so that they can repay the “loans” we are going to give them.

      • Veeber says:

        @smythe: The one saving grace for the automakers is their foreign sales. The moment they start shutting down the foreign factories (many of which are actually co-owned with local companies, especially in China) they may lose access to those markets.

      • katylostherart says:

        @smythe: we would also like them to bring money back to america instead of to foreign plants if they’re going to ask for americans’ money to save their butts.

      • SonicPhoenix says:

        @smythe: I don’t remember which company it was but recently there was an issue raised where they actually did manufacture a small car that was sold in Europe with great gas mileage but couldn’t feasibly sell it in the US because the engines were manufactured in Europe and it would cost too much to ship them to the US. If manufacturing were here to begin with maybe they could actually sell the cars that people want to buy.

        • smythe says:

          @SonicPhoenix: Yeah, but if they made them here then the same argument could be used that it is unfeasable to ship them to Europe, where historically those smaller cars have sold better nad been more profitable.

          Doesn’t make a lot of sence to build small cars in the US if no one is going to buy them does it?

          Please see the comment below by ChildrenAreSticky.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @olderbudwizer: The biggest issue with shutting down foreign plants is that the reason why Mercedes opened a plant in the U.S. was to cut the cost of transporting vehicles overseas to sell in the U.S. I’d rather the companies keep their factories open in the foreign markets because they are in great demand over there, and are fairly successful in Europe and Asia. They need to focus on re-engineering how they do business in the U.S. where we need 12 airbags and anti-lock brakes. It’s not as easy here to produce a car, especially since we have greater demand for midsize and commercial grade trucks, and greater demand for small and mid-size SUVs and also minivans.

      I think the auto companies mostly sell compact cars over in Europe, correct or no?

      • docrice says:

        @ChildrenAreSticky:

        Word! It’s no wonder so many great cars don’t make it to the American market, with our ridiculously strict crash test requirements, required do-dads and other little nonsense items that just add to the cost, and our government as recently as a few months ago pushing hard to REQUIRE many cars to become 30-40% more fuel efficient in only a few short years.

        Case in point: Look at the Smart For-two. In europe, it is affordable and gets 70+ mpg. In America, I routinely see used ones going for over $20k, I have no clue how much they’re marking up new ones, and the additional emissions and crash test requirements have bogged the car down so much that it gets maybe 50 mpg in real-world driving. So a great concept in Europe turned into an overpriced car that only appeals to a niche market in America (why buy one of these when you can spend the same money to get a used Prius which is much roomier and just as efficient?).

        • TouchMyMonkey says:

          @starrion: You are, of course, assuming that everybody needs to drive an SUV. FALSE.

          You are also assuming that everybody would rather drive an SUV. Also FALSE.

          Why not trade your 10 MPG never-been-off-the-pavement SUV for a hybrid car. That would make the biggest difference.

          • Shark1998 says:

            @HurtsSoGood: Have you ever tried to tow anything (much less anything with substantial weight) with a Hybrid? Not everyone that ownes an SUV needs to go off-roading, but many SUV drivers need the tow capacity. A hybrid would not suffice.

            I say for trucks, Go Diesel.

      • mac-phisto says:

        @ChildrenAreSticky: it’s not just the cost of transportation – it’s also tariffs that exist in the marketplace that can easily add $1000 or more to the cost of the car. in the case of a mercedes, i believe there’s an additional tariff on foreign luxury autos equal to 100% of the base tariff. so, an SLK carries roughly ~$3,900 in tariffs.

  3. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    Make Nardelli take a Sebring. $100 says he resigns his post before he makes it through Ohio.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: I’ll second THAT. My Legacy GT Wagon is in the body shop (apparently some other customers of the local post office can’t get in and out of a parking space without hitting stationary objects like my bloody car) and the best I could squeeze out of Enterprise was a Sebring. I keep telling myself it’s better than the PT Cruiser they tried to stick me with, but I find that I need to chant that mantra fairly often.

      • Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

        @GearheadGeek: Wow, the elusive LGT Wagon? I’d guess you’d be disappointed with just about any other car, let alone a Sebring.

        Your gut is probably right about the PT Cruiser.

      • KyleOrton says:

        @GearheadGeek: Man, I love that car (hint: I don’t mean the PT Cruiser or Sebring).

        • GearheadGeek says:

          @KyleOrton: (and Ash78): Thanks… I love my Legacy GT Wagon (’05, Limited, 5-speed manual) as well. I knew I wouldn’t get something I really enjoyed while it’s in the shop, I was just hoping for something I wouldn’t despise. And every time I hear that flaccid groaning noise when I force the Sebring to accelerate against its will I despise it. If I’m lucky, my LGT comes home Friday.

      • Thain says:

        @GearheadGeek: Actually, as the owner of an ’05 PT Cruiser, I have to say that they’re pretty nice. Typically a smooth ride, plenty of leg and head room, and decent gas mileage for an American car (24-28 MPG).

        • failurate says:

          @Thain: I have never figured out why the PT Cruiser catches so much crap. It’s fairly inexpensive and seems to be a pretty usable vehicle.

          And I also don’t understand why people expect joy out of rental cars.

        • Agent355 says:

          @Thain: I agree. I own an ’02 PT and I love it. Everything you said and it’s been reliable as well. I’ve done nothing but maintenance on it. Consumer Reports ratings reflect this (just about the only Chrysler car that does well in their ratings).

        • GearheadGeek says:

          @Thain: My daily driver is a 250 hp AWD station wagon with good handling, leather seats, a 5-speed manual and a huge sunroof. I am quite picky about cars. The PT Cruiser is essentially a somewhat-more-refined Neon hatchback. I’ve driven both, and I’d definitely choose a PT Cruiser over any Neon but the ACR, but in general it’s a non-starter for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares:

      +1 for good point. The sad thing is whatever they drive will have been completely inspected top to bottom and not the garbage they sell on the street.

    • Chols says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares:

      I drove through Ohio a couple weeks ago. Between crazy drivers gunning it on icy roads, and icy roads themselves, the only thing I would want is a 4×4

  4. karmaghost says:

    And what happens to the planes? They’ll use them to fly everywhere else. I’m one of the people that scoffed at them using the private jets to arrive to Washington, but seriously, it’s not as if they’re selling them off to make money. It’s just the image that flying in a private jet to wherever you’re about to beg for money that ticks people off.

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @karmaghost: You know its cheaper for a group of people to use a private jet than it is to fly commercial right? The jet is already paid for.
      To those suggesting they sell the jets…
      Who do you purpose buy them? A down economy isn’t exactly the best time to sell a house, let alone a jet. Congress critizing them is nothing more than petty politicing.
      Blame the CEO’s all you want but even if they could build cars as desirable and to the same quality as Honda or Toyota, they would still cost $1000 more due to bullshit union contracts. They can’t compete until they go bankrupt and the UAW is sent packing.

      • Hamtronix says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: 1000$ WHOLE DOLLARS? Golly! That sure is a lot to pay extra to keep people alive and in a job that is worthwhile… What BS union contracts exactly?

        • HIV 2 Elway says:

          @Hamtronix: If there are two comparable 9assuming they are comparable) products and one costs $1000 more, which one are you going to buy? Obviously, the markets have spoken and people aren’t willing to buy their products.
          Unions did their job getting people fair wages and safe work places. They are now obsolete, we have organizations like OSHA to ensure safe work places.

          • Thain says:

            @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected:

            There are PLENTY of people who will pay $1,000 more for the American-made product, as long as the American-made product really is comparable. Think about it – the only vehicle in Ford’s lineup even remotely comparable to a Honda Civic is the Ford Focus (and the Civic STILL gets better gas mileage), and the Focus has been selling fairly well. The Civic still sells better because it has more options available (including a hybrid version), even though those options are typically enough to make it much pricier than the Focus.

            • Maymar is convinced M.C. Escher engineered his car says:

              @Thain: It’s a small point, but the Focus (along with the Cobalt) gets better highway MPG than a Civic.

              But realistically, the domestics, with their current image issues, won’t be able to sell enough cars if they’re $1000 more than the competition, so it’ll have to come out of their profits (which adds up to a substantial number with the volume of cars they sell).

            • failurate says:

              @Thain: Another weird issue is that you can see people of all income brackets driving and owning a Civic. They are considered effecient, cost effective and generally smart buys.
              If you see a person of mid to upper income driving a Focus, you assume his car is in the shop and he’s driving a rental.

              That’s an image and marketing problem.

            • JustThatGuy3 says:

              @Thain:

              The best family sedan out there is American made: the Accord.

      • TCTH says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: A little more to it than that. Fuel costs alone for the flights to DC were reported to be in the $20 k range and if these bozos couldn’t find a commercial flight for less than $20k we’re in deeper doodoo than I thought we were.

        Doesn’t matter if the plane’s payed for or not… you still have fuel, mainte3nance, the payment of the crew…

      • redkamel says:

        wall writing from alternate 2008: “Its the same with that computer thing everyone always whines about. The reason it was scrapped was it cost about $100,000 per computer, so no one could ever buy one”

    • Valhawk says:

      @karmaghost: They’re responding to the flack they received from politicking congressmen and the national media to improve their image to “average Americans” (idiots).

    • ageekymom says:

      @karmaghost: GM has said that it is selling the last 3 of their corporate jets and will lease a jet if they need to travel.
      I’m not sure what the others are doing.
      Here in Michigan, we don’t find this situation the big joke that the rest of the country seems to.

  5. Finder says:

    Just fly coach. It’s not that hard.

    • HFC says:

      @Finder: I don’t care if they fly business class. Driving just seems like a dick move. “Oooh, look at me! Everyone got mad at me for flyng, so I’m going to drive. See what a concerned guy I am? [The public can kiss my ass!]”

      • RagingBoehner says:

        @HFC: If I’m paying someone 20 mil a year or whatever it is — as a board member I’d rather see my CEO working on a private jet than dicking around with airport security and waiting areas.

        • usul356 says:

          @RagingBoehner: Wait are you saying that private jets don’t have to go through the standard TSA security? This is a serious question I have wondered about. If so, then this whole TSA junk is an even bigger waste than I thought.

          • HIV 2 Elway says:

            @usul356: Private jets fly out of much smaller airports that don’t have security.

            • usul356 says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Hmm… so potential terrorists could just fly a private jet into a building. More proof that the TSA is just there to drain money and make people “think” they are safe. Not that I want more security mind you. There is always a price for freedom.

            • ViperBorg says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: They don’t have TSA, true. But they do have Customs Agents.

              If proof is really needed, I’m down the street from a small airport, and would be happy to take a photo of the US Customs squad car parked there.

              • Tmoney02 says:

                @ViperBorg: Customs only apply if it is an international flight that is landing in the US.

                If your flying your jet domestic you can drive your car up to the plane and go. No security.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Finder: I did see “we’re driving” as kind of a slap in the face, because they’ll rent Excursions so they can travel with their people. Each CEO has at least one assistant, and then they probably have some kind of security, and after all is said and done, you’ve probably spent less than if you flew on a private jet (fuel costs) but it’s still asinine to rent out gigantic SUVs to fit your entourage.

  6. Snarkysnake says:

    Why don’t they have to push one of their cars there ? More closely relates to their customer experience. While they are at it, why not have a one sided fight with a “zone manager” or “regional rep” who will tell them that their blown head gasket is normal for a car just out of warranty. I personally dont give a damn what they drive or fly up there,I am so resentful of their arrogant mooching off the public that I will never even consider one of their cars again.Nardelli ,Wagoner,Mulally,have one of your flunkies read this next sentence to you while you are lounging in your hot tub :

    Kiss my ass !

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Snarkysnake: I’d love for one of them to have their alternator blow up and have to get a tow and leave their car at a strange dealership while they handle their stuff in DC. That was my Pontiac experience.

    • DoubleEcho says:

      @Snarkysnake: I’d rather have Rick Wagoner drive one of their most “popular” vehicles, like a subcompact or a Cavalier, something like that. If you’re a CEO of a car manufacturer, you should be driving the vehicles that you sell explicitly, so you know what the customer is experiencing. Make them drive a different car every two weeks or every month, randomly selected from the assembly line.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @Snarkysnake: You know domestics have come a long way in reliability and quality right?

      • Snarkysnake says:

        @downwithmonstercable:

        I know that the marketplace has refused to buy these companies cars.They all have 4 wheels , 4 doors , steering wheel , seats etc…Pretty much the same as foreign makes. Now what factor could possibly cause these products to fail in the marketplace ? Hmmm , lets see.

        Could it be that after 3-4 years of ownership that you almost can’t give a GM subcompact away (because the potential owner knows that there is a major defect/reliability issue hiding inside)? No.,that couldn’t be ,because domestics have come a long way in reliability and quality. It says so right up above there.

        So,could it be that they guzzle gas like a drunk at an open bar, cost more to insure (SUV’s have a LOT of rollover accidents) and are based on out of date technology because the accountants that run the company will approve retention bonuses for the executives but won’t release development funds for a competitive car because Wall Street won’t like the “return on investment” numbers ? Nahhh. It has to be something else…

        Maybe it’s because that the big 3 dealerships are rude,arrogant and condescending when we bring them in for a problem or walk on the lot to browse and test drive. There was actually a story not that long ago on Consumerist where several readers wrote in about how they were ignored at a Chevy dealership until they got up and left.No,still not a good enough reason…

        I have it ! It’s our fault as customers for wanting a better car that lasts longer for the same or maybe a little less money ! That’s it ! I was a fool for not seeing it earlier ! I (and you,dear reader) are responsible for the crisis that is now facing our domestic car manufacturers. We should all be ashamed.

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @Snarkysnake: Yikes. I like how you went off on me after asking a simple question with this essay of factless opinion based stuff. Nice comeback, although it needs a little more sarcasm and cynicism. You are making huge generalizations that are not true, with the slight exception of your first statement – yes, imports retain their value better. That’s all I’m going to say about this, your post isn’t worth the argument.

    • ClutchDude says:

      @Snarkysnake:
      Or have a transmission shop explain to them that, yes, even though regular maintenance was done, and yes, no abnormal driving conditions were seen, the transmission is in need of replacement on a 68K mile car. Too bad it was 4 years after purchase.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Snarkysnake: They should have to call Verizon Roadside Assistance. In Nebraska.

  7. whoneedslight says:

    Wasn’t this a skit on SNL two weeks ago?

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @whoneedslight: Sort of. The SNL skit had them climbing into some old car of one of their brands, and then describing a bunch of things malfunctioning.

      I can’t find video of that skit. It was really funny.

  8. andrewe says:

    Ahh, the Family Truckster. Which one of the big three is still making this model? I must have one for my Chevy Chase shrine.

  9. illtron says:

    Didn’t this happen already, like yesterday? All this “going to” talk seems a bit late.

  10. p75hmsa says:

    @undefined: it was a special edition ford ltd. ive only seen 1 in the wild, and it may have been a fake.

    • Vicky says:

      @p75hmsa: It seemed like every 10th kid in my high school in the late 90’s had a mid-80’s LTD of either the “family truckster” Country Squire edition or the “old police car” Crown Victoria (myself included in the latter category). Any given weekend in 1997 could have found up to 4 of them in my parents’ driveway – mostly retired fleet cars bought at a steep discount.

      I don’t think any one of those cars made it more than two years at a stretch without needing either a new air conditioner compressor, a new alternator, or both. But in a car accident you benefited from the fact that the cars were 17 to 18 feet long and you stood a good chance of being 8 feet away from the point of impact.

    • econobiker says:

      @p75hmsa: It was modified with like 4 headlight on each side plus other stuff to make it stupid looking. The garage fitting mini-van pretty much clobbered the family station wagon…

  11. Gman says:

    What matters far more to me is the gall they have for just refusing to change how they operate both on the company and union side.

    It is not just the economy that is doing horribly. It is your business itself. The foreign automakers are not going out of business like you are.

    • ageekymom says:

      @G99: What are you talking about? Perhaps you missed the news that Toyota, & Honda aren’t selling cars right now either.
      The unions have made concessions such as no more pensions provided by the corporations, all new hires will start at $14/hour, the list goes on.
      What do you think will happen to the medium and small suppliers when the Big 3 fail? They will fail too, and the parts that they make for the foreign car companies will be gone, which will shut down those lines as well. Good luck buying your foreign car then!
      Oh, you can also kiss about $60 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues goodbye too, and that’s just the 1st year.

  12. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    WHY WHY WHY are they only hybridizing their SUV’s? That’s like making a “low-fat” cake and eating the whole thing when you’re on a diet. IT DOES NO FRICKIN GOOD!

    26 mpg SUCKS! No matter what the car that is atrocious!

    • HFC says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: I’ve been wondering the same thing. Why do they keep making their giant trucks into hybrids when the point is to save gas? Make smaller cars into hybrids so we can get 50MPG. Why have a hybrid Escape but not a hybrid Focus? Did Honda and Toyota start their hybrid lines with SUVs? No, they were smart. Can’t the big 3 pull their heads out of their asses and make hybrids for the masses instead of the top 30%?

    • Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: If you assume people are going to keep buying SUVs, then the percentage gains from hybridizing an SUV are much greater than with a car.

      I guess that attitude is basically “If we can’t get people into cars, we can at least reduce the impact of the SUV.”

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: Making a previously 16 mpg vehicle into a 26 mpg vehicle is an exceptional gain (almost 40%). How would a 40% reduction in our oil consumption sound? Pretty good, eh?

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @InfiniTrent: Yeah, but they still have to fill up twice as much as someone with a Prius who can get 60mpg. It doesn’t solve any problems to take your worst performing car and make it slightly better, when your top of the line cars still suck, too.

        Suv’s are just a quick and easy way for car companies to get around EPA restrictions because they’re “passenger cars” but they can be classified as “light trucks”. They’re already extremely unaffordable, and Hybridizing them will only drive up that cost.

        I think the ultimate goal here is a hybrid that everyone can afford, not some $60,000 monstrosity.

        Hybrids are best suited as commuter cars, not troop transports. I hate it when I see ONE person in an 8-passenger suv. Such a waste.

        • balthisar says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: Escapes aren’t $60,000 monstrosities. Are you on drugs?

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: I’m quite happy with my 22 mpg in my car (not SUV). Sure, 26 would be better, but 22 is great. I could certainly afford a hybrid, but it just wouldn’t be the same car. Despite what so many people seem to holler, we don’t all want to drive tiny, little cars with tiny, little engines. That is, there’s still demand for these cars, and manufacturers would be irresponsible to not satisfy the market. Toyota still sells its Land Cruiser, after all.

          • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

            @balthisar: I average about 32mpg in my 4-cylinder Elantra Wagon (that weighs 2500lbs) so you don’t have to be driving a teeny little car to get decent mileage.

            I agree they should be working on more mainstream hybrids – not troop transports, not 2-seater ping-pong cars. Your standard sedan.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: Yeah I never understood the idea of a hybrid SUV. Though if they made a hybrid Rav-4 or a hybrid Rogue, I bet it’d get snatched up right away. Because even the Rav-4 (which is a behemoth of a crossover) gets 19 city. The Rogue gets about 21 city and I think the CRV is comparable. I do wish I got more mileage out of my crossover, but until there’s a crossover with better gas mileage or a hybrid crossover I can afford, I’ll keep on driving mine happily because it suits my lifestyle and doesn’t suck up gas like Uncle Todd on Christmas with the egg nog.

        • AgnesKoliha says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: I would love to see a hybrid small truck (Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10, etc). Several times a year I need a truck bed to haul home-improvement materials, furniture, mulch, whatever, but can’t justify the lower mpg than the compact car I drive daily.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: They’re not ONLY hybridizing their SUVs, in fact Ford is coming out with a hybrid Fusion for ’09 that has a better EPA rating than the comparable Camry Hybrid. a) that’s not yet in production, and b) it’s actually assembled in Mexico and Mulally probably thought someone would whine about THAT if he drove one to DC.

      The Escape Hybrid has been a pretty good niche for Ford. The previous-gen Fusion was already well into its product cycle before gas prices spiked, so it’s probably better that they did it right and brought it out with the refreshed ’09 model.

      The Malibu Hybrid is a joke, though. It’s hard enough to make a purely financial case for a hybrid unless you do lots of stop/go city driving, but the Malibu offers almost nothing for a several thousand dollar price premium. GM’s “mild hybrid” system is pretty crappy, you’d be better off with a 4-cyl normal Malibu for less money.

    • Valhawk says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: The best part about hybrids is if you do the math, they’re a net loss for the consumer. Gas would have to be greater than $5.00 a gallon for them to recoup the extra cost built into the price.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Valhawk: But in the end, you’re still paying much, much less for gas. I think my next car will be a Prius, and I understand why it’s a loss for the consumer, but there’s a lot to be said for thinking ahead. These $1.50 gas days aren’t going to last forever.

      • PølάrβǽЯ says:

        @Valhawk: But it’s not about price, it’s about doing what’s right for the environment and reducing our dependandlazaerjh&^%$#&^$#*SNOOORE*-oh sorry, got lost in all the BS and FUD.

    • econobiker says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese:
      Quoting: “Ford Focus sedan with a manual (29 mpg)”

      How come I have a POS 1995 Dodge Neon 5sp 4dr with 244,000 miles and an sick engine which gets the same mileage as that hack Ford (27-29 mpg mixed driving)?

      Heck, before the engine developed it’s miss (possible broken ring) it was 37-39mpg in MIXED driving.

      Shouldn’t these goobers be selling at least one gasoline fed car with a 35mpg+ mpg ability???

  13. downwithmonstercable says:

    I don’t get what the huge deal is. A CEO is much more important and time constrained than a blue or white collar worker. They are highly compensated to lead their respective companies. A one hour flight vs. an 8 hour drive seems to make better sense, considering the 20 grand it costs to fly is so absolutely miniscule in the big picture.

    You know what they should do, is give the unions the bird and restructure the workforce. The unions have had a huge impact on their unprofitability.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @downwithmonstercable: And yet NONE of them have mentioned it.. Think they’re in their pocket much?

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: Not sure if I am reading this right.. you think the CEOs are in bed with the unions?

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          @downwithmonstercable: I haven’t heard one of them talk about restructuring their labor agreements, when it is probably the single highest cost on their list. If they followed the consumerist’s guides to getting out of debt, it’d be the first thing they considered.

          • downwithmonstercable says:

            @Oranges w/ Cheese: It maybe isn’t a good talking point on national news (and probably because they’re talking to a panel that leans left) but I know that’s on their minds. I forget where it was..maybe on consumerist, but I read that total hourly compensation including benefits for a big 3 mechanic is somewhere around $80 an hour, whereas for Toyota/Honda mechanics it’s something like $48 an hour. It’s unfortunate, because with the combination of higher oil prices and the economic downturn, the union in all their glory basically negotiated tens (hundreds?) of thousands out of jobs now.

          • ageekymom says:

            @Oranges w/ Cheese: When you emerge from your cave, you will discover that the labor agreements have already been restructured and will take effect in 2010, suppliers have also slashed their costs to the bone and can barely pay their own employees.

          • crashfrog says:

            @Oranges w/ Cheese: Why should they get to restructure their labor agreements? The unions held up their side of the bargain – they built all the cars the management asked them to, just the way they asked. Why should they get paid, as agreed?

            There’s no backsies. It’s like you buying a $2000 tv on your credit card, and after a few years, you find that with all the interest it’s way more than you’d like to pay. Sure, you’d like to go back to Best Buy and say “you know, I paid you way more than I should have for that TV. I’d like to pay you only about half as much.” The question is, why should they accept that?

            Management made their deal with labor, and labor held up their end. If that’s hard for the company, tough shit. Management should have made a better deal in the first place.

    • SabreDC says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Lead their respective companies? You mean like running them into the ground and begging the government for 18 billion dollars? Hell, even I can lead a company to that fate and I have no business experience or education whatsoever.

      • Valhawk says:

        @SabreDC: They’re begging for a bridge loan because they think they can get free money. Currently they expect to be profitable again by 2010. The problem is they don’t have enough money to last till then. They have secured financing to cover the difference, they’re just getting hit with high interest.

        The reason they don’t want to go into bankruptcy is because:
        1) They’ve already secured a favorable contract with the UAW that will go into effect in 2010 and are afraid if they go Chapter 11 the UAW will say screw it and strike and ruin them.

        2) They realize that the average American is an idiot, and that if they go into bankruptcy some of those idiots won’t buy GM for just this reason alone.

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: They have restructured their labor agreements, the contracts just haven’t gone into effect yet. See reason 1 for how that relates to why they want to be bailed out.

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @SabreDC: Thanks captain obvious, I wasn’t aware that they aren’t doing a good job. I am so sick of these types of comments. I could go on and break down what I wrote for you to fully understand it, but it’s not worth it.

        • SabreDC says:

          @downwithmonstercable: That’s life, deal with it. Not everyone posts comments that suit your almighty desires. I’m really sick of comments from people saying that they are sick of certain types of comments.

    • balthisar says:

      They’re all talking about restructuring their labor agreements. In fact, they did so already just last year. And they’re going back to the table.

      You do realize what unions are all about, and what contracts are all about, right? You can’t just dictate that these are the new rules. That would be easy. You’ve got to make the union accept them.

      @downwithmonstercable: I agree wholeheartedly! Too many people (including congresscritters) act emotionally rather than putting any thought into it. Flying on a private jet on vacation is a perquisite. Flying on a private jet for business can be justified, based on your responsibilities, pressure for time, and so on. Flying commercial is an eight hour affair! We should want that the CEO’s time is wasted for eight hours rather than righting the company?

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @balthisar: I have a feeling you are mocking me, but I can’t quite tell.

        • balthisar says:

          @downwithmonstercable: Not at all. The hubbub over using a company plane was stupid. It’s jealousy. I travel on business frequently — sometimes on a company plane. It’s the difference between a five hour trip and a 15 hour trip. I’m not a CEO nor have I the responsibilities of a CEO, and so I can see how time is even much more precious to them.

          • downwithmonstercable says:

            @balthisar: Gotcha. Glad we’re on the same page :) I have done business travel as well. A one hour flight is an 6-8 hour ordeal. It’s stupid to waste their time like that, on top of the already minimal amount of time Congress gave them to present their case, and the amount of time Congress is taking to look it over.

    • econobiker says:

      @downwithmonstercable: “The unions have had a huge impact on their unprofitability.”

      Head on over to Jalopnik to find out how much having sucky cars has had “a huge impact on their unprofitability”.

      Responsiblity:
      GM management- 75% unions 25%

  14. Mikestan says:

    I hope they make the environmentally friendly choice of carpooling.

  15. dmuth says:

    The fact that these CEOs are thrilled about getting 26-29 mpg shows just how out of touch they really are. It just gives me another reason why these automobile companies need to go the way of the dodo. They are no longer competitive.

    Heck, the Saturn I bought in 1999 got 32 mpg, and it definitely wasn’t a hybrid.

    Drive down in a car that’s getting 40-50 mpg, then we’ll take you just a little more seriously.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @dmuth: They have tons of cars that get over 30.

      • Jakuub says:

        @downwithmonstercable: Literally. do you know how much their POS vehicles weigh?

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @downwithmonstercable: 30mpg is nothing. We should be able to drive cross-country on one tank of gas by now.

        Ford has a car that gets 55mpg… in EUROPE, which they REFUSE to import.
        I’m sure GM has several other more efficient models that they refuse to sell here, too.

        None of the big 3 sell any trucks or SUV’s in Europe because they’re a small/sports car region (hell half their roads aren’t even big enough for something like an f-150). I guess that’s why they’re shitting them on us.

        America needs to get the “Big Man Truck” mentality out of their heads and realize that we need better performing cars instead of these stupid gas guzzling penile-compensations.

        • Valhawk says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: How much does it cost? The reason is probably that it is significantly more expensive. In Europe where you are paying $8 a KL it makes more sense, but in the US where gas flucuates from $1.50 to $3.00 on average it is probably out of a price range where people will buy it.

          Its the same with the electric car everyone always whines about. The reason it was scrapped was it cost about $100,000 per car, so no one would buy it.

          • Tmoney02 says:

            @Valhawk: the $100,000 price tag everyone loves to throw about isn’t really accurate.

            The cars were only in made in a small batch so obviously the cost of each car was high. This would be true for even a regular car made in such numbers. (though granted lower than the $100,000).

            If the that electric car was mass produced the costs could be greatly lowered through economies of scale and manufacturing breakthroughs like every new production car. But of course this is never mentioned because it doesn’t make for an easy soundbite like the $100,000 price tag.

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: 30 isn’t fantastic, but it’s good. I think we unnfairly associate domestics with bad mileage and think of imports as super fuel efficient, when really they are basically on par with each other. Civics get 30ish, Accords get just under 30 (depending on the engine) but we don’t rag on them for not getting 50 mpg.

          I know all about the cars that Europe has that we don’t. But that goes for all car companies, not just the big 3. I’d love to see those cars over here, but there is a reason why they don’t import it. If they can’t make money on it, they won’t do it. Makes perfect economic sense to me. They especially now can’t afford to be heroes and sell their european models here at a loss just because it’s a good thing to do.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @dmuth: As I posted earlier in a response to someone else, 26-29 mpg IS really good when that car previously got much less.

    • vermontwriter says:

      @dmuth: Exactly. I participate in a carpool because our school district opted to drop bus service for the high schoolers. The boys HATE that I have a Hyundai Elantra or a Dodge Neon and have to cram into it, but I get 32 mpg in one and 30 in the other. Let’s see the CEO’s all share a Yaris for the ride down, that would be fun!

  16. PinkBox says:

    This seems like such a huge publicity stunt. Why not just pay for business class seats on a plane? It isn’t like anyone is going to care. The problem was the cost of operating an entire jet just for a few people.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @PinkBox: People were idiotic enough in the first place to claim they shouldn’t have flown private jets…this is a “screw you” move aimed to please the least intelligent among us.

    • Valhawk says:

      @PinkBox: Becuase this is the response to the idiots who were crying over them taking jets that were already payed for.

  17. jfischer says:

    Each car should be equipped with cameras inside and
    out so that a reality show can be made with the footage
    documenting each CEO’s experience with his own product
    on a serious road trip. It would even make some money
    for the automakers, as we would love to see them spill
    coffee on themselves, suffer lower back pain, deal with
    radio controls that require too much attention to simply
    change stations, and so on.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @jfischer: I bet they’d probably take their highest end cars…Mulally will probably be in a Lincoln, the GM guy in a Yukon or something, not sure about the Chrysler guy though. All their cars suck.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @jfischer: I’d definitely pay to watch that! Live webcam FTW!

    • econobiker says:

      @jfischer: Excellent idea- I wonder if their drivers will do ok too…

      Remember Michael Moore’s tv show and when he baited the Auto Ceos a few years back about changing the oil on one of their cars? I think the pre-Nasser Ford guy actually did it.

  18. dragonvpm says:

    I really don’t see what the problem is when a national (let alone international) company has a private jet to get from place to place so long as it’s used in a financially sound way (i.e. you use it to fly groups of people to important meetings so they only spend one day dealing with it instead of say half a day flying there, one day meeting and half a day flying back).

    I just started working for a national builder and they have a private jet that I’ve already gotten to fly in because it was the most economical/timely way to transport 6 or 7 people to 3 important meetings in 3 different states in 2 days.

    I’m not defending all their practices, but I suspect that if people did the math on all the folks traveling to those hearings (I doubt it was just the CEO, they probably had assistants, lawyers, etc… going along) it would make sense to fly them on the already owned private jet than to make them all fly commercially.

    It’s one thing to get upset over “bonuses” for executives of companies that are in the toilet, but private jets aren’t just something used by rich celebrities to hop around to vacation spots, for a large enough business with interests in geographically diverse areas, a private plane/jet of some sort can be a sound financial decision. People getting upset about it just seems stupid and uninformed.

    I felt that way when Palin kept bring up how she sold Alaska’s jet too. Alaska is such a huge state that I think the state government should have a good jet to get staff and supplies from place to place without being at the mercy of commercial or charter flights. Hell just look at all the complaints about airlines in the article about the $15 checked bag fee (or any other article about commercial airlines really).

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @dragonvpm: Dead on. Private jets…more economical? Yes. PR nightmare, especially when some asshole congressman care more about getting reelected than actually serving his constituents? Yes.

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @dragonvpm:

      I think the issue with alaska’s jet is that it couldn’t land at a majority of the airports in Alaska the governor needed to go to so it was pretty much useless.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @dragonvpm: I suspect that if people did the math on all the folks traveling to those hearings

      Unfortunately you lost 95% of the American public right there. People take what they’re fed – they don’t think for themselves.

    • My Iron Lung is Rusted says:

      @dragonvpm: I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “6 or 7 people to 3 meetings.” That’s a lot different than taking 3 planes to fly 3 people to 1 meeting. They may have gotten still gotten some flak if they had plane-pooled in one private jet, but not nearly as much.

      • Valhawk says:

        @IronLung492: You seem to be assuming none of those executives would be bringing assistants, specialists, lawyers, or need a private place to hold privileged discussions with said lawyers while on the way.

      • Traveshamockery says:

        @IronLung492: But it wasn’t just the three of them, alone on each jet. I guarantee they had a 6-10 person support staff with them.

  19. harlock_JDS says:

    I’m betting when you take into account the extra time spent being driven to and from Washington (figuring an average hourly rate based on their compensation) that the private jets are the same price (or cheaper) than being driven.

  20. demar says:

    I think it was a stupid move on their part. They (the CEO’s) should have known that flying on a private jet to beg for money would have rubbed some people the wrong way. For important meetings, I can see why they may need a private jet but for this particular meeting, they should have gone commercial. Even if they had flown first class I don’t think anyone would have raised an eyebrow.

    As far as driving to DC goes, I agree with HFC, it’s a dick move. It’s like they are trying to be pricks.

    I don’t buy from them anyway so I couldn’t care less if they go tits up. A honda is the best car I’ve ever owned. Everything (minus a Jeep) that I have ever owned that came from one of the big 3, has been junk.

    • The_Legend says:

      @demar:

      Did any of you brainiacs ask what form of transportation the heads of Citi and AIG took when they went to DC and got the no questions asked handout? When the Government itself knows that 150 billion is out there with no regulation to the banks at all? When Citi is spending 400 million for naming rights to the new NY Mets stadium? When AIG is throwing down 150 mil to put their logo on a UK soccer team?

      They took corporate jets. So freaking what! Hell, if they had to fly commercial, they probably wouldnt’t all get there at the same time, if at all. Have ya ever flown commercial?

      Did any of you brainiacs ask Congress what they fly? Pelosi, whatcha taking back to your district this Christmas with the economy in the crapper and your constituents packed in the airport?

      And good lord Consumerist, quoting the “we faked a few results but we still have cred” Consumer Reports?
      Give me a break. The people that read that rag (and i feel bad because I’m insulting rags) are sheep that don’t have the stones to go out and find out for themselves what they want to buy.

      Hell, I would have auto execs grab a ride on a Citi private jet. Worked out pretty good for them.

      I guess after the Government throws 7 trillion at the banking system black hole and it’s foreign owners, and thumbs it’s collective hypocritical nose at the Big 3, maybe we can all get down to hoping we don’t get the WalMart gig on Black Friday.

      George Carlin was right. They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to belive in it.

  21. Keen314 says:

    Why aren’t they carpooling?!

    • 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

      @Keen314: I believe they do it for liability issues. Most companies won’t let several members of the executive team fly on the same plane (my company won’t let more than 2 directors fly on the same commercial flight). If something were to happen, you would lose multiple leaders of the company, which would be bad.

      They do the same with the President, etc…

      • TCTH says:

        @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: >>If something were to happen, you would lose multiple leaders of the company, which would be bad.<<

        Really? In view of the mess these “leaders” have made of the country, I was just thinking that we ought gather the whole bunch in one spot and as Jack Mayberry says, just, “blow ‘em the hell up.”.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @Keen314: Because it’s not just the three of them going.

      Imagine if one insurance company insured all three guys against death or disability…they’d set up a military escort for that car!

    • emis says:

      @Keen314:

      Can only imagine the slap fights that would ensue between Rick (Chevy) and Alan (Ford) in the backseat while Big Bob Chrysler is in the front seat w/ a red face and popped out neck vein yelling about he’s going to turn this car around right now if they don’t stop!

  22. jchabotte says:

    Great,

    Now i’m going to have:

    Holiday RoOOOoooOOOoOooAAAAAAAaaaaddd

    stuck in my head all day.

    And so will you, whoever is reading this.

    secret guilty pleasure song

  23. cmdrsass says:

    What a terribly inefficient and short-sighted thing to do. I know all the plebes are crying for CEO blood or want them to hitchhike, but this won’t save much money and it wastes the most valuable asset a CEO has – his time. Flying around in corporate jets is not about glamor as much as it is about maximizing the time executives spend working. Put down your pitchforks.

  24. misteral says:

    Um, reality check. None of these CEO’s will be driving aything… they’ll be bringing along a chaufeur. Oh sure, they’ll jump in the driver’s seat for a photo op as they arrive in Washington, but that’s about it.

    AS for the fuel economy of the cars they’re bringing, they should all be posting the miles driven and gallons used of each of these cars – we all know the posted sticker figures are wrong.

  25. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    The biggest hindrance to getting fuel efficient vehicles here is, ironically, the EPA, CA Air Resources Board, and Corp Avg Fuel Economy standards (in combination).

    These three combine to ensure that only a very narrow set of technologies will ever qualify for 50-state compliance. Further, the classification of “crossovers” and some cars as “trucks” by CAFE means that companies have LESS incentive to offer the more space- and fuel-efficient vehicles (because those would be called “cars”)

    “Hey, we’ve got diesels that account for half the sales in Europe. They have very low CO2 emissions and 50mpg”

    Response: “No way, too much particulate emissions. How about you add expensive filters and urea systems to make them legal here? Oh, and by the way, we might have our fuel supply cleaned up by the time you finish, but probably not” (facepalm)

  26. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone even considered video conferencing? That would be the cheapest way to attend a meeting from a remote location.

  27. BeyondtheTech says:

    One of the big 3 CEOs should have taken my American-built Chevy Cavalier that I brought brand new off a dealership that closed two weeks later. The transmission was shot only 3,000 miles into the car – I was driving at 65mph on the Palisades Parkway when the thing basically shifted itself into neutral. Pretty freaky, especially when my foot was on the pedal and I pinned the tachometer.

  28. Urgleglurk says:

    @downwithmonstercable:
    I knew this topic would come up. What are managers supposed to do? Manage, correct?
    So who approved the contract offers to the Unions? Management. So now it’s the Union’s fault? Bull.

    If Management had been doing their jobs all along, the Unions wouldn’t have gotten the contracts they have now. The Unions didn’t just wave these contracts into existence with a magic wand. They came about through proposals and counter-proposals over negotiations. If the contracts were that bad for the company, didn’t Management have the responsibility to their shareholders to keep negotiating for a better deal? Yes, they did. But they didn’t do that, did they?

    Management blew it big time and, as usual, they want to the Unions to take the blame. There’s plenty of blame to go around on both sides.

    The Management of a company is responsible for oversight on the design and fabrication of the product lines. US automakers have been lagging behind foreign carmekers for at least a two decades in reliability, mileage and advanced design (like hybrids, as one example).

    The Unionmembers build what Management tells them to build. To try to remain competitive, Management outsourced their product lines overseas. They should have been designing and building better, more advanced products. Now, they’re stuck.

    Give them low-interest loans, yes. Make the loans dependent on revamping their product lines for higher quality, more efficient products. No bonuses, no executive retreats.

    The US auto industry has been more busy maintaining the staus quo than creating better products. Unfortunately, they are so intertwined in the economy that we can’t afford to let them collapse. So let’s use this opportunity to create the best US auto industry that we are capable of creating.

  29. draketrumpet says:

    They should have drove the first time. If we don’t let them burn out, they’ll keep on burning down.

  30. Corporate_guy says:

    What a joke. A malibu hybrid gets 10mpg less than a corolla. These guys are driving their best, and their best is terrible. Why didn’t they drive a volt? If it’s not even drivable now, they aren’t going to have it ready in 2011 or 2012 like they claim.

    • Maymar is convinced M.C. Escher engineered his car says:

      @Corporate_guy: By what metric exactly? The EPA ranks the Malibu Hybrid as 26/34 MPG, and the most efficient ’09 Corolla as 27/35 (nevermind the 22/30 it gets with the optional larger engine, the same as the larger 4-cyl Malibu, even with an ancient 4-speed automatic). If you wanted a car that was actually the same size as the Corolla, the Cobalt gets 25/37 MPG.

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @Maymar is convinced M.C. Escher engineered his car: Wow, I looked it up. The hybrid only gets 4mpg more in city driving and 1 mpg more in highway driving than the non hybrid model with the same engine. That is a complete joke.
        And the only automatic cobalt gets 24/33 while the 5 speed with the smaller engine gets 22/30 which is even worse. I don’t think you looked at the data before you claimed the cobalt is comparable to the corolla. Plus only using the data for a manual(something no one buys) is very misleading. And on top of that it makes no sense that the manual cobalt gets 25/37 while the automatic gets 22/30. The corolla has almost no difference between it’s automatic and manual figures. Either the cobalt is crippled with it’s automatic transmission, or the manual figures are not accurate.

        • Maymar is convinced M.C. Escher engineered his car says:

          @Corporate_guy: I did look at the figures first – if you genuinely care about fuel economy, you should be willing to drive a manual transmission anyways, and the Cobalt XFE gets the best fuel efficiency in its class. And even the 24/33 that the automatic gets is still midpack for compact cars. As for the smaller engine you mentioned, that’s the turbocharged engine in the Cobalt SS (which has 100 more horsepower than the Corolla’s optional engine, despite getting identical fuel economy). I fail to see how the Cobalt’s not comparable – it’s genuinely more efficient in some models, and unlike your ludicrous comparison, it’s the same size.

          • Corporate_guy says:

            @Maymar is convinced M.C. Escher engineered his car: I am sorry but you are arguing as if people care about horsepower. Is there a trailer hitch on that thing? Otherwise who cares about the horse power. My 09 corolla has better pickup than my 92 4c mustang and get twice the gas mileage.

            • Maymar is convinced M.C. Escher engineered his car says:

              @Corporate_guy: Buh? I’m not even sure I get what you’re trying to say there. I’m assuming you’re talking about the Cobalt SS. My point was that Chevrolet made a much more efficient engine than Toyota.

              • Corporate_guy says:

                @Maymar is convinced M.C. Escher engineered his car: No they did not. Because it’s only available as a manual, thus locking out most car buyers. And the 1.8L corolla, the engine people get in a corolla, is more fuel efficient and comes as an automatic or manual. It seems the big 3 are worrying more about beefy cars that no one needs instead of gas mileage. They probably offering the beefy cars so they can justify a higher price. So they offer something no one cares about to justify a higher price. That is why they don’t sell cars.

  31. HIV 2 Elway says:

    If we allow the government to dictate what cars manufacturers make, you know what we’ll be left with….

  32. quagmire0 says:

    @ChildrenAreSticky: Very true. I’ve had a Prius for two years now. It’s just a great car! I can understand that people want their big cars though. It’s been beaten into us from a young age that bigger is better and that if you are driving a BIG car you are less likely to get killed or maimed in an accident – which can be supported or debunked depending on which data you decide to pull.

    But yeah, for all you hybrid supporters out there, the reason these companies don’t or didn’t make smaller cars and more hybrids is because the demand wasn’t/isn’t there. Even the tremendous spike in gas prices did not do much to ween the American consumer off of its SUV bender. I just think it is funny when I see the Mom in the Expedition with the ONE kid in the middle of the second row of seats. Just a bit of overkill methinks.

  33. StatisticalError says:

    I would not be surprised if one of them showed up in a hybrid hummer.

  34. Macroy says:

    Wasn’t this an SNL sketch a couple weeks ago?

  35. decoitous says:

    Help me here — are they going to “drive” or “be driven” to DC.

  36. emis says:

    They’re all welcome to use my 121K 2000 Blazer… it gets 21MPG on the highway if they keep it around 65 and avoid fast passing.

    They better bring a few 5QT jugs of oil though because she likes her 10W-30.

  37. TKOtheKDR says:

    Is that pic of the Griswold’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon’s Vacation?

  38. Ajh says:

    Why are they driving? They’re business men that are usually busy. Around here those kind of people take the trains. (We need more trains in the US.)

  39. Tmoney02 says:

    I wonder how many marketing meetings and political consultants they talked to in order to determine which car to choose…

  40. starrion says:

    One of the basic things that people miss is the net effect of doing something.

    If you take a 10mpg SUV and hybridize it so you get 20MPG

    10,000 miles @ 10MPG = 1000 gallons
    10,000 miles @ 20MPG = 500 gallons

    VS a normal sedan to a hybrid

    10,000 @ 26MPG = 384 gallons
    10,000 @ 45MPG = 222 gallons

    So turning an SUV into a hybrid makes the biggest difference.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @starrion: I mean, that’s like saying “I saved $100 dollars on my new tv” which cost you $1000, instead of buying a $500 tv to begin with. You’re still out $400 bucks which you could’ve spent elsewhere.

      Oil WILL NOT last forever, so we need to be using as little of it as possible, and not saying “oh look at the savings!” while you still guzzle it down.

  41. Firesoul1 says:

    corporate road trip!!!

  42. crashfrog says:

    @Valhawk: If we actually priced gas according to the negative externalities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, it would cost about 12 bucks a gallon.

    And quite frankly, we should do that. Gas is only as cheap as it is because we, as a society, subsidize it by ignoring those other external costs.

  43. The_Legend says:

    Did any of you brainiacs ask what form of transportation the heads of Citi and AIG took when they went to DC and got the no questions asked handout? When the Government itself knows that 150 billion is out there with no regulation to the banks at all? When Citi is spending 400 million for naming rights to the new NY Mets stadium? When AIG is throwing down 150 mil to put their logo on a UK soccer team?

    They took corporate jets. So freaking what! Hell, if they had to fly commercial, they probably wouldnt’t all get there at the same time, if at all. Have ya ever flown commercial?

    Did any of you brainiacs ask Congress what they fly? Pelosi, whatcha taking back to your district this Christmas with the economy in the crapper and your constituents packed in the airport?

    And good lord Consumerist, quoting the “we faked a few results but we still have cred” Consumer Reports?
    Give me a break. The people that read that rag (and i feel bad because I’m insulting rags) are sheep that don’t have the stones to go out and find out for themselves what they want to buy.

    Hell, I would have auto execs grab a ride on a Citi private jet. Worked out pretty good for them.

    I guess after the Government throws 7 trillion at the banking system black hole and it’s foreign owners, and thumbs it’s collective hypocritical nose at the Big 3, maybe we can all get down to hoping we don’t get the WalMart gig on Black Friday.

    George Carlin was right. They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to belive in it.

  44. Anonymous says:

    The focus only gets 26mpg with an automatic transmission? No wonder people aren’t buying cars from them. My ’96 Corolla got 30mpg on average.

  45. kachunk says:

    It’s kind of silly to suggest that they drive. The only thing I really objected to was the fact that they took separate private jets. They’re all coming from detroit, yes? Make ‘em plane-pool.

  46. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @crashfrog: “If we actually priced gas according to the negative externalities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, it would cost about 12 bucks a gallon.”

    Do you have a source for this? Who’s metering the air and charging someone for anything?

  47. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    @starrion: Maybe in the short run – you’re still using MORE in the long run. 222 gallons is 25% of the initial SUV’s use, and THAT is the best option.

  48. kwsventures says:

    Beside the 3 CEOs, I think the congress should have asked the union leaders in too. Then ask them all how they drove the U.S. auto business into a ditch.

  49. Corporate-Shill says:

    How about the top 10% wage earners in every division take a 90% pay cut and donate their farking bonuses to the Government?

    When I see all levels of execs (union, white collar, managers and whatever) start taking substantial pay cuts I will start believing in the bailout needs of the company.

  50. carefreeamit says:

    They should be driving Japanese cars rather than their own gas guzzlers.

  51. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    @econobiker: Seriously! They aren’t innovating becasue people in America haven’t given a damn for the past 50 some years and are only now clamoring for it because they can’t afford the gas.

    It isn’t going to change anything until we get this behemoth mentality out of our country and start living in our means – including sustainability for our energy sources.

    • turtledude558 says:

      @econobiker: I bet that “hack” Focus is MUCH safer AND has better emission ratings then your 13 year old Neon.

      Back in 1995, there were different tests for fuel economy and something that may have been rated at a 30 then is more like a 22-24 now (if you’re getting your mileage ratings online).

      Also, cars weren’t as safe back in ’95 as they didn’t have all the safety equipment cars today do, so before you start bashing a car trying to compare it to some older relic you own, I suggest you take how things were done back then compared to how they are now.

  52. admiral_stabbin says:

    I hope Nardelli takes a Challenger SRT8. They don’t have to drive (or sell) eco-cruisers to profit.

  53. ZukeZuke says:

    FAMILY TRUCKSTER! YES!

  54. MooseOfReason says:

    Maybe they could ask Elon Musk to pick them up in a Roadster. It is a two-seater, however.

    Tesla Motors is setting up shop in California. I’m sure they’ll be looking for unemployed people who have experience manufacturing cars.

  55. Anthony Citrano says:

    It would have been particularly brilliant PR if one of them had thought to do it the first time, and the other two had done the corporate-jet thing.

    Now, though, after being scolded for the jet thing, it rings a bit hollow.

  56. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @Oranges w/ Cheese: Give me a double-piece of double-chocolate death-cake smothered in chocolate syrup and whipped cream..oh, but I’ll take a diet Coke with that because I don’t want to get fat. Same idea.

  57. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    so, who is actually driving the cars?
    i can’t believe these CEOs are going to be behind the wheels themselves. riding, sure. but driving? do they KNOW the quality of the cars they make?