There’s another controversy brewing as General Motors Co. executives will be hopping on some charter flights on trips within the next few weeks to meet with prospective investors to talk about its upcoming public stock offering.
It can be recalled that two years ago, the public was outraged when the executives of the Detroit 3 (GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co.) flew to Washington on chartered jets to ask the federal government for a taxpayer-funded bailout.
They received so much criticism that they later attempted to save face by driving from Detroit for a follow-up hearing in hybrids.
However, this move wasn’t received warmly and was even made fun of on "Saturday Night Live." At the time, Ford was not seeking a bailout but supported bailouts for its two US rivals to ensure the integrity of the supply chain.
GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told The News York Times that when supported by a business rationale, “GM’s corporate travel policy allows charter flights.”
He added that this is “consistent” with its requirements under TARP [the federal bailout terms] and its Treasury loan agreement.
Meanwhile, the US Treasury Department, which controls the government’s 61% GM stake, declined to comment on the matter, saying that the Treasury isn’t involved in this issue. [via autonews - sub. required]