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GM to return two leased jets amid criticism

General Motors Corp will return two of its leased corporate jets amid intense criticism in Washington this week on the luxury travel arrangements of its chief executive even as the company pleads for federal aid.

CEO Rick Wagoner was in the capital to testify on the company's dire financial situation but his testimony was overshadowed by irate lawmakers who blasted him for flying on a private jet to ask for public funds and failing to make personal sacrifices in exchange for federal assistance.

Chief executives from Ford Motor Co(F.N), and Chrysler LLC, who were also there to plead for $25 billion in federal aid, came under fire too for flying to Washington in private jets.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said on Friday GM decided to return the aircraft because of a "really aggressive cutback in travel."

The company, which is in a cost-cutting mode, is scrutinizing every trip, he said, but declined to disclose the name of the company it leases the airplanes from.

Wilkinson said the decision to return the leased corporate jets was made before this week's hearings and that the company in September returned two other of the seven jets it had at the beginning of the year.

"There is a perception issue," Wilkinson said of Wagoner's travel to Washington on a private jet. "We need to be very sensitive to that going forward."

He, however, said the company has not decided on what mode of transportation Wagoner would take if had to travel to Washington again.

Wagoner and Ford CEO Alan Mulally are required by their companies to fly by private aircraft for security reasons, according to company documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The policy for Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli is not required to be disclosed because the company is not publicly traded.

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But these asshats gave AIG more money after their lavish party, er, I mean corporate retreat.
 

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Meyerand said the three remaining corporate jets would remain at the disposal of "only the very top senior leadership."

Asked if it was not the use of such aircraft by the "very top senior leadership" that occasioned this week's outcry, Meyerand said that was for the media to conclude.

GM's CEO Rick Wagoner, whose round-trip flight to Washington reportedly cost $20,000 — about 70 times what a commercial airline ticket would cost — told Congress he expected GM would get between $10 billion and $12 billion from the requested bailout.

Joined by Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Alan Mulally of Ford, Wagoner told the Senate that a collapse in Detroit could cost 3 million jobs in one year and damage the economy in communities across the country.

Ford and Chrysler did not comment on their future corporate jet policies, but Chrysler confirmed that it does lease private jets, Reuters reported on Friday.

"This is a slap in the face of taxpayers," Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, told ABC News. "To come to Washington on a corporate jet, and asking for a handout is outrageous."
 

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That is why

Meyerand said the three remaining corporate jets would remain at the disposal of "only the very top senior leadership."

Asked if it was not the use of such aircraft by the "very top senior leadership" that occasioned this week's outcry, Meyerand said that was for the media to conclude.

GM's CEO Rick Wagoner, whose round-trip flight to Washington reportedly cost $20,000 — about 70 times what a commercial airline ticket would cost — told Congress he expected GM would get between $10 billion and $12 billion from the requested bailout.

Joined by Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Alan Mulally of Ford, Wagoner told the Senate that a collapse in Detroit could cost 3 million jobs in one year and damage the economy in communities across the country.

Ford and Chrysler did not comment on their future corporate jet policies, but Chrysler confirmed that it does lease private jets, Reuters reported on Friday.

"This is a slap in the face of taxpayers," Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, told ABC News. "To come to Washington on a corporate jet, and asking for a handout is outrageous."
bailouts will fail...RICH PEOPLE DO NOT GET IT :)
 

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This is so assanine...$20K seriously? Does the media really want to focus on $20 f'n thousand dollars when there's BILLIONS at stake? IF GM were to get $25B, we're talking about .000000008%. The "$200M" salary is only .00008%.
 

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This is so assanine...$20K seriously? Does the media really want to focus on $20 f'n thousand dollars when there's BILLIONS at stake? IF GM were to get $25B, we're talking about .000000008%. The "$200M" salary is only .00008%.
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

I'm with this guy!!! Someone remembers their math class.... Well.... and their science class too. E=mc2
 

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Congress is more pissed off that the Big 3 came to Washington and had no plan to turn things around for them. They couldn't even say how or why they got the 25 billion dollar number from. They have been giving help in the past and nothing shows for it. This isn't the first time Detroit has asked for money and why should we the tax payer pay for it? We should all get Z06's as repayment.

The Corporate jets they flew in on was just a symbol of the lavish spending and how out of touch they really are. That was a really bad perception they gave out and now they are stigma'd.

I'm sorry but I'm with congress on this one.

They are behind the japs in technology and quality and the sales shows it. Quite frankly they'll never be on par with more progressive auto manufacturers. They should have started thinking about things 8 years ago when Bush talked bout Hydrogen cars at his inaugural address.

I think a chapter 11 restructuring is a good thing, I'm just saddened that it will put some people out of work.

They need to get their act together before going in there and expecting money for nothing.

Think bout it, its like you going to your parents for $$ and they ask why.

I hatem all, this free market bullsh*t and Bush's philosophies and policies have brought this nation to its knees. We are a weak nation now.
 

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bailouts will fail...RICH PEOPLE DO NOT GET IT :)
That is the dumbest 22nd post I have seen.

It worked in the early 80's for Chrysler and the Government made 50 million on the deal.

It is a loan, not a BAILOUT/Handout.:BangHead::confused::rolleyes:
 
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Congress is more pissed off that the Big 3 came to Washington and had no plan to turn things around for them. They couldn't even say how or why they got the 25 billion dollar number from. They have been giving help in the past and nothing shows for it. This isn't the first time Detroit has asked for money and why should we the tax payer pay for it? We should all get Z06's as repayment.

The Corporate jets they flew in on was just a symbol of the lavish spending and how out of touch they really are. That was a really bad perception they gave out and now they are stigma'd.

I'm sorry but I'm with congress on this one.

They are behind the japs in technology and quality and the sales shows it. Quite frankly they'll never be on par with more progressive auto manufacturers. They should have started thinking about things 8 years ago when Bush talked bout Hydrogen cars at his inaugural address.

I think a chapter 11 restructuring is a good thing, I'm just saddened that it will put some people out of work.

They need to get their act together before going in there and expecting money for nothing.

Think bout it, its like you going to your parents for $$ and they ask why.

I hatem all, this free market bullsh*t and Bush's philosophies and policies have brought this nation to its knees. We are a weak nation now.
And that Ladies and Gentlemen is a repost of the liberal media from this evening's news.

Nice regurgetation.

Have an original thought in there?

If you do I would love to hear it.:patriot:
 

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Congress is more pissed off that the Big 3 came to Washington and had no plan to turn things around for them. They couldn't even say how or why they got the 25 billion dollar number from. They have been giving help in the past and nothing shows for it. This isn't the first time Detroit has asked for money and why should we the tax payer pay for it? We should all get Z06's as repayment.
Chrysler payed it back and then some and early too.

The Corporate jets they flew in on was just a symbol of the lavish spending and how out of touch they really are. That was a really bad perception they gave out and now they are stigma'd.

I'm sorry but I'm with congress on this one.
yes that was stupid..and I too agree.

They are behind the japs in technology and quality and the sales shows it. Quite frankly they'll never be on par with more progressive auto manufacturers. They should have started thinking about things 8 years ago when Bush talked bout Hydrogen cars at his inaugural address.
it is?? Tech and quality?? not really in fact that gap has been closed for the last 5 years or more on some cars. Heck if the Impala and the Monte Carlo were combined as one car as a two door Honda Accord and 4 door it beat it out. but just because it has the Impy name and Monte name its two diffrent cars. The CTS is the best selling lux cars and backed by the best selling lux brand in the U.S. again. The malibu has won over some very stiff competition on many magazines and is selling (till recently). And GM has the largest hydrogen fleet out there.. here is some thing that GM actually pointed out that are the plus' of what they have been doing...

Rick Wagoner and Key Points to the Senate

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

United States Senate
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

Rick Wagoner
General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Washington, D.C.


• Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.

• I’m Rick Wagoner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors. Thank you for the opportunity to speak today about the future of America’s domestic auto industry.


• I’d like to acknowledge for the Committee the constituents that I represent:

• General Motors directly employs approximately 96,000 people in the United States.

• We have 6,500 dealers across the country, who employ another 340,000.

• Last year, we purchased more than $30 billion of goods and services from more than 2,000 suppliers in 46 states.

• Our pension program covers nearly 475,000 retirees and spouses, and our health benefits extend to about one million Americans.

• We have about one million registered stockholders.

• And 70 million of our vehicles are registered to U.S. citizens… 22 million of them purchased in the last 5 years.

* * * * * * *

• As recent news coverage has made abundantly clear, many people have a picture of GM that has not kept pace with our progress.

• In fact, GM has made tremendous progress transforming our business in recent years.

• Since 2005, we’ve reduced our annual structural costs in North America by 23 percent, or $9 billion… and expect to reduce them by about 35 percent, or $14-$15 billion, by 2011.

• Between 2003 and 2010, we'll reduce our U.S. hourly labor costs from $18 billion to $6 billion.

• We negotiated a landmark labor agreement with the UAW last year that will enable us to virtually erase our competitive gap.

• And we’ve addressed pension and retiree health care costs in the U.S., on which we spent $103 billion over the last 15 years.

• As a result of these and other actions, we are now matching – or beating – foreign automakers in terms of productivity, quality, and fuel economy. By 2010, we’ll match them on labor costs, as well.


• On the product side, we’re building vehicles that consumers want to buy… like Cadillac CTS, Motor Trend magazine’s 2008 Car of the Year… and Chevy Malibu, the 2008 North American Car of the Year.

• We’ve also made huge progress developing advanced propulsion technologies.

• In 2009, GM will offer 20 models in the U.S. that get at least 30 miles per gallon highway – twice our nearest competitor – and nine hybrids.

• We have more than three million flex-fuel vehicles on the road in the U.S.

• We’ve established the world’s largest hydrogen fuel-cell test fleet here in the U.S.

• And we’re running all-out to get the Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicle to market as soon as possible.

* * * * * * *

• In short, we’ve moved aggressively in recent years to address competitive shortcomings and position GM for long-term success… and we were well on the road to turning our North American business around.

• Last October, following the negotiation of a new labor agreement with the UAW, our stock price climbed to almost $43 per-share… based on analysts’ views that we had finally overcome the cost-competitiveness gap with foreign automakers.

• Since then, our industry has been hit hard by the global financial markets crisis… and the recent plunge in vehicle sales threatens not only GM’s ongoing turnaround, but our very survival.


• In response, we have moved quickly to keep our company on track. Since June, we’ve taken steps to:

• reduce our North American manufacturing capacity;

• further shift production to cars and crossovers;

• sell off parts of the company;

• suspend dividend payments;

• reduce headcount;

• eliminate raises, discretionary bonuses, and 401(k) matches for salaried employees;

• and eliminate health-care coverage for U.S. salaried retirees after age 65.

• These and other actions are designed to improve GM’s liquidity by $20 billion by the end of 2009. They affect every employee, retiree, dealer, supplier, and investor in our company.

* * * * * * *

• Mr. Chairman, I do not agree with those who say we are not doing enough to position GM for success.

• What exposes us to failure now is not our product lineup, or our business plan, or our employees' ability to work hard, or our long-term strategy.

• What exposes us to failure now is the global financial crisis, which has severely restricted credit availability, and reduced industry sales to the lowest per-capita level since World War II.

• Our industry, which represents America’s real economy, needs a bridge to span the financial chasm that has opened before us.

• We’ll use this bridge to pay for essential operations… new vehicles and powertrains… parts from our suppliers… wages and benefits for our workers and retirees… and taxes for state and local governments that help deliver essential services to million of Americans.

• In the process, we’ll continue to reinvent the automobile, and improve the nation’s energy security, through development of advanced technologies like those in the Chevy Volt.

* * * * * * *

• And what would it mean if the domestic industry were allowed to fail?

• The societal costs would be catastrophic: three million jobs lost within the first year, U.S. personal income reduced by $150 billion, and a government tax loss of more than $156 billion over three years… not to mention the broader blow to consumer and business confidence.

• Such a level of economic devastation would far exceed the government support that our industry needs to weather the current crisis.

• That’s why this is about much more than just Detroit… it’s about saving the U.S. economy from a catastrophic collapse.


• In short, helping the auto industry bridge the current financial crisis will not only prevent massive economic dislocation now… it will also produce enormous benefits for our country later.

• We want to continue the vital role we’ve played for America for the past 100 years… but we can’t do it alone.

• You can help us through this crisis. In return, we will repay the taxpayer’s faith and support many times over, for many years to come.

• Thank you, and I look forward to your questions
I think a chapter 11 restructuring is a good thing, I'm just saddened that it will put some people out of work.

They need to get their act together before going in there and expecting money for nothing.

Think bout it, its like you going to your parents for $$ and they ask why.

I hatem all, this free market bullsh*t and Bush's philosophies and policies have brought this nation to its knees. We are a weak nation now.
That I will say yes... WE as people of this country SOLD OUT..Not arguing with you about the responsibility you are right but the idea that we dont have cars that can compete. We have and we do. Just really bad timing for this economy to hit rock bottom.:eek:
 

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****!:eek:
 
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