GM says jet sales are part of drastic cost cutting.
General Motors, which US legislators criticised after CEO, Rick Wagoner, used a corporate jet to fly to Washington to plead for government bridging finance to keep the US car industry afloat, is reportedly selling two of its corporate jets.
But US media reports quote a GM spokesman as saying the two issues aren’t correlated.
"This is strictly the result of drastic cutbacks in travel around the globe," the spokesman is reported to have told Detroit News.
Legislators last week told Wagoner, Ford boss Alan Mulally and Chrysler’s Bob Nardelli that they were flabbergasted the three men had used private jets to make the 800km trip from Detroit.
“Couldn’t you have jet-pooled?” asked one. Others said the chief executives should have flown with commercial airlines, while others suggested they should cut their multi-million dollar salaries drastically.
US motor industry commentators have suggested that when they return to Washington next week so congress can listen again to their pleas and hear their cost-cutting plans, the three CEOs need to fly coach (economy).
One has suggested the three CEOs should drive the 525 miles to Washington in their most fuel-efficient cars.
The big three are seeking a $US25 billion bridging loan to help them get through to the expected upturn in 2010.
Ford has indicated it might not need to dip into the loan because of reserves it has set aside.
But Mulally says that if any one of the three collapses it will trigger a domino effect that will ripple through the US motor industry and spread to the wider economy, in America and the rest of the world.