Mr. Ford Exec: take a pay cut and buy a clue
“I’m okay where I am,” a Ford executive said when asked if he would take a salary reduction to help the financial state of the company as he stood before government representatives recently.
Screw you, Mr. Ford Executive.
That guy made a reported $9.3 million dollars last year. Yeah, I bet he is ok. But what about the guy making less than $20 an hour, working on the line, trying to support a family? What about the guy at B.F. Goodrich who is looking at a bleak Christmas? That guy has been laid off two weeks and is looking at another six weeks off. Not enough work to do when the automotive industry is failing. What about the woman working at Autoliv or Mahle Clevite?
And then we hear that executives who, if they gave up their salaries, might make a significant impact on their own economic situation flew corporate jets to Washington (further waste and mismanagement) to beg for the hard-earned tax dollars of US citizens. Frankly, folks, we’re the ones getting screwed. And why didn’t they just drive their quality, American-made vehicles to Washington? Wouldn’t that have made a point? Some of those same executives, I hear, also commute via private planes to work. I’m certain that isn’t the only example of waste, poor judgment and idiocracy.
The Chrysler, GM and Ford proposed bailout has more than a few people steaming and for so many reasons.
I will preface this by saying I drive two American-made vehicles. My one non-US vehicle is almost as old as I am and I drive that one because it is “greener” than my other options at this point. I have many family members who make a living off the automotive industry and I know that the financial viability of their jobs is crucial. I'm also well aware of the many local people who'se lives are depending on the success of the industry. Still, I’m grossly disgusted with the people at the top of that food chain and we all should be since the future of those companies rests largely in their hands -- the same people who have mismanaged those companies to a degree I cannot fathom and they continue to show questionable judgment are standing before the government asking for a bailout package. I’m getting the idea that a bailout package is almost easier to ask for than a loan is these days, but I digress. I recently got one of those mass view emails with some guy’s idea about how if we bailed out the people of the United States by sending each of them several hundred thousand dollars – all of our problems would take care of themselves. If you look closely at the numbers, that suggestion isn’t even realistic, but he makes an interesting point anyway.
The real concern is this: if you and I wouldn’t give our business partners even $10,000 without some sort of oversight or accountability, why are we considering giving billions of dollars to the banking and automotive industries without any concrete expectations? Furthermore, if you and I were to borrow any amount of money -- we'd be paying it back..with interest!
Meanwhile, a foreign company is setting up shop in Greenfield, Indiana, and looking to open 1,000 jobs building their cars – cars people are apparently still buying. Is it time for domestic car manufacturers to look at their products and make some serious decisions?
Maybe the real answer is for our automotive manufacturers to take a closer look at their products and the 21st century buyer and make some difficult decisions. Is it time to scale back the lines of vehicles offered? Maybe it is time to cut a few brands loose? Maybe it is time to begin mass producing vehicles people want? For example, there is currently a growing waiting list for the Chevy Volt, an all-electric concept car that still hasn’t really materialized...yet there’s a growing web-based network of individuals waiting with pocketbooks ready for them – I know, I’m one of those people.
Obviously, there’s still a viable market for vehicles if foreign companies are doing well enough to build plants in our state and hire new employees. Maybe instead of asking for bailout money, the automotive industry needs to take notes, make a plan and get busy fixing themselves.