One of several truly surreal statements offered by US automakers in their increasingly desperate plea for a survival bailout from Congress yesterday. But Ford, anyway, retained a foothold in cutthroat capitalist rationality (and contradicted Henry Ford’s own original strategy of paying his workers enough to purchase his cars) when it also said: “it was in talks with the United Auto Workers union with the goal of bringing its labour costs down to the same level as foreign rivals’ US plants, which are not unionised.” From today’s Financial Times:
US carmakers ask for $34bn
By Bernard Simon in Toronto and John Reed in London
Published: December 2 2008 19:59 | Last updated: December 3 2008 02:01
Detroit’s beleaguered carmakers sought to present themselves as lean, innovative and environmentally aware as they appealed to Congress for up to $34bn in emergency loans on Tuesday.
In a second appeal to Washington in a month, General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler set out plans to become more competitive, stressing attempts to transform themselves from high-cost behemoths focused on gas-guzzling sports-utility vehicles.