DealZone

Tunes for a gloomy roadtrip

December 3, 2008

After being roundly criticized by politicians and the public alike for flying private jets to ask for public money, the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three, GM, Chrysler and Ford, have decided instead to drive to Washington this week for their latest round of begging for a $34 billion bailout. One, Ford’s Mulally, was reportedly already on the road on Tuesday afternoon but it wasn’t clear if he would be overnighting at an Econo Lodge, Motel 6 or in the back seat.

Apparently, optics in the current economic crisis dictate that their time would be better spent on a 10-hour, 520-mile drive from the Motor City to the nation’s capital than on a one-hour flight.

That’s a lot of time on Interstate 70 for executives who are used to jetting from one private terminal to another. But perhaps the besieged CEOs will welcome the chance to take a road trip — a chance to put the pedal to the metal and crank up — or even rewrite — some tunes.

One can imagine GM chief executive Rick Wagoner penning his own version of “I Drove All Night,” a song recorded by artists that include Roy Orbison, Cyndi Lauper and Celine Dion. He could dedicate it to New York Democrat Gary Ackerman who asked the CEOs last month, “Couldn’t you have downgraded to first class or something, or jet-pooled or something to get here?”

I Drove All Night (written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly)

I had to escape, Detroit was sticky and cruel
Maybe I should have flown first class
But I was afraid of being mocked by you
I was dreaming while I drove
Of making fuel efficient cars, uh huh, uh huh, yeah

Could taste your sweet bailout, your vault open wide
This dream of cheap cash is just burning me up inside

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright?
I drove all night, nixed a hotel room
Won’t carpool with Nardelli, or Mulally too
Is that alright? I drove all night.

Other suggestions for the CEOs’ mix tape: AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”, Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack,” Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway,” Golden Earring’s “Radar Love,” and the Cars’ “Drive.”

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I’m surprised the chiefs in Washington have not asked the CEO’s from Detroit to walk bare foot from Detroit into downtown Washington. They could line the street and throw rocks and beat them with sticks. Washington’s finial Death March for the Big 3 or just a good old fashion witch hunt.

While the rest of the world watches, I hold my head down. Shame on Washington, shame on all of you.

Posted by God | Report as abusive
 

I sincerely do not understand the empathy that some people afford these companies and their executives. For years we have seen commercials where they have wrapped themselves in the U.S. flag and espoused the dedication of their employees to put forth an image of American Know-How and work ethic.

I sincerely do not understand the empathy that some people afford these companies and their executives. For years we have seen commercials where they have wrapped themselves in the U.S. flag and espoused the dedication of their employees to put forth an image of American Know-How and work ethic.

However, America’s BIG 3 simply continued to follow a business model and produce a product line that has been and is still today inferior to foreign competitors in overall quality, resale value, and owner satisfaction. I have in my adult life owned four new vehicles two Honda’s, a Chevy and currently a Volkswagen. The only car that ever left me on the side of the road (3 times to be specific) and actually began to fall apart right at the five year pay-off mark, was the Chevrolet. The other three vehicles worked flawlessly with no major hiccups and always got me from A-to-B with higher gas mileage and a better ride experience. The only compliment I can pay the Chevy is that it had the most comfortable seat of any car I’ve owned. That is a sad commentary and makes me think conspiratorially that Chevrolet may have purposely put extra design effort into the quality of the seat to lure the buyer with an “Ahh!” factor when they first sat in the car.

I truly believe that any aid we grant these companies will only serve to encourage themselves and others to continue their short range profit model that ignores any far reaching goal and stifles innovation. They should be allowed to fail and stand as a warning to other industries to look past the next quarterly report and plan for the future. They will disappear and someone else will come in and buy up production assets at a bargain and create a smaller company that can grow into a profitable replacement for the dead company. Stock holders knew the risk, employees and unions knew the status-quo could not be sustained. If they didn’t then they were either blind or delusional. I can remember a nursery school story about an industrious ant stockpiled for the winter while a lazy grasshopper played in the sun acting as if winter would never come. Winter came and the grass hopper starved while the ant survived until spring. Sometimes death is necessary.

Posted by Mike Mac | Report as abusive
 

“On the Road Again,” by Willie Nelson.

Posted by JoMc | Report as abusive
 

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