Technology with attitude

Automakers Just Can’t Catch A Break

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First the media slams them for riding on private jets, and now they find a way to slam them for driving to Washington in hybrid cars.

From MSNBC:

One thing to think about is the amount of time that they wasted by driving. By turning what would be a 90-minute commercial flight into a 10-hour road-trip they are spending more than eight hours more on travel time.

Ford’s Alan Mulally made $17 million in 2007 in salary and incentives, according to the Wall Street Journal. Broken down, that means he makes $1,940 an hour, which means the extra eight hours he spent on the road cost the company $15,525 — one-way.

GM’s Rick Wagoner made $3.8 million in 2007 ($443 per hour) in salary and incentives. Wagoner spending that extra eight hours on the road costs the company $3,531 one way.

Bob Nardelli has not disclosed how much he makes at Chrysler, but judging by the fact that he was making $25 million a year at Home Depot last year, his time is worth a bundle as well.

Chrysler: Nardelli made the trip over a two-day period. Leaving late in the evening on Tuesday, he stayed at a Holiday Inn in Youngstown, Ohio. According the Holiday Inn Web site, it’s about $120 per night, per room. Assuming there were four of them each in their own room that’s about $480 for the stay.

Seriously folks, you can’t have it both ways. I know it’s popular to hate these guys right now, but either they fly on corporate jets and it takes them 2 hours to get somewhere and so a smaller chunk of their salary has been “wasted” or they drive a car, it takes them longer and they use up a bigger (yet, not much bigger) chunk of their salary.

Listen, I think the criticism about the jets was appropriate, even though it was corporate policy and there are security reasons for CEOs to fly instead of drive. But figuring out how much somebody makes and calculating how much they cost their company because they decided to drive is beyond petty. Especially when all of these CEOs have pledged to cut back their salaries to $1.

And by the way Doug…damned if they do and damned if they don’t? How about cutting people a wee bit of slack, especially since you’re a libertarian and believe that the market should determine what they get paid.