The CEOs of the Big Three automakers were heavily criticized for flying private jets to D.C. when they appeared on Capitol Hill a couple of weeks ago. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) commented, “It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo.” Since that hearing, GM announced it was putting two of its five corporate jets out of service, but claimed it was not a reaction to the harsh treatment from Congress. Now, Ford CEO Alan Mulally is pledging to drive to Washington for auto bailout hearings this week:
“He’s driving,” a Ford spokesman, Mark Truby, wrote in an e-mail today about Mulally’s plans for sessions set to start on Dec. 4. A General Motors Corp. spokesman, Tony Cervone, said “it is safe to assume” CEO Rick Wagoner won’t use a company plane, while a Chrysler LLC spokeswoman, Katie Hepler, declined comment on Robert Nardelli’s travel plans.