GM and Chrysler have staked their future — and some $20 billion of taxpayer-backed loans — on the idea that they can reinvent themselves as lean, green and mean manufacturers of small and fuel-efficient cars and electric-drive vehicles.
That’s a vision that resonates with the Obama administration, which has announced an ambitious target of putting 1 million plug-in hybrid cars like the much-touted Chevy Volt on the road by 2010.
But some of Detroit’s highest-profile auto executives are still driving like its 1999. Their rides still harken back to the era when they were the kings of the road.
GM sales chief Mark LaNeve called in from the road on Friday to brief reporters on the automaker’s plans to cut dealerships.
LaNeve said he used OnStar’s hands-free dialing to join the conference call from the cockpit of a luxury Cadillac Escalade SUV.