"Auto deal 'very likely' Monday
Car chiefs must change their ways or quit, but bankruptcy not an option, says Obama. -Tue, Aug 12, 2008 AFP
WASHINGTON - THE White House said on Monday that a deal with the US Congress on legislation to help troubled US automakers was 'very likely' before the end of the day.
Meanwhile, lawmakers on Monday braced for a showdown over a multi-billion-dollar rescue for US automakers on the brink of collapse, as pressure mounted for a major remake of the car industry.
Democrats said a deal was imminent after a weekend of negotiations with the White House on a short-term loan package of about US$15 billion (S$26 billion), but Republicans warned that a tough debate awaited the proposed bill this week.
Mr Obama urged the car chiefs to change their ways or quit, but stressed that bankruptcy was not an option.
'If this management team that's currently in place doesn't understand the urgency of the situation and is not willing to make the tough choices and adapt to these new circumstances, then they should go,' Mr Obama told a press conference in Chicago on Sunday.
The New York Times reported on Monday that congressional negotiators are considering the creation of an oversight board made up of five cabinet secretaries, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and led by an independent 'car czar' to monitor the troubled US automobile industry.
For his part, United Auto Workers (UAW) chief Ron Gettelfinger rejected accusations that inflated worker wages have made the US companies unable to compete with foreign car makers like Nissan and Volkswagen.
'I think the men and women of the UAW, who have worked so hard to help these companies succeed, have made numerous concessions up to this point in time,' he told ABC News."
I could have commented on the wife of ex-NKF Chief being found guilty of some charges and will go to jail and fined S$1m BUT decided to comment on this US Auto Industry's pleas for a lifeline!
Lessons for me are:
1. someone has to tell the leaders they socked when they indeed socked! Something is terribly wrong with the US big 3 automobile companies when they have struggled for so long to compete with the foreign companies like Japan's Honda/Toyota/etc, the EU's BMW/Mercedes Benz/VW/etc, and even the Korea's Hyundai/Kia! in their own home turf!;
2. someone must tell the industry that relying on the manufacturer's financial arms to provide credit to the car buyers is just not a sustainable business model IF there is NO self-control and IF there is CONFLICT of INTERESTS as the financial arms' business leaders report to the BOSSES of the manufacturing leaders! This is especially so when the TOP LEADERS have no integrity and ethical backbone! i.e. they just pressured the financial and manufacturing leaders to provide credit to sell more cars! Also, there is another problem of rewarding for more cars sold on credit! There you have an unsustainable model!;
3. someone must take the lead to BREAK this vicious cycle! President-elect Obama is on the right track on the big picture. It will take an executor with the balance of hard and soft skills, and able to converse with the head and the heart to rally the troops to change and face the pains that will come with it.
I wish the big 3 auto makers in the USA good luck and I agreed that the current leadership team need to clear out before any significant change can happened!