Hopefully, Ford and GM are not looking to Washington for a solution to their problems. When recently asked by the Wall Street Journal about the woes of domestic auto manufacturers, President Bush stated, " I think it's very important for the market to function." In other words - you're on your own, and best of luck to you.

Bush did state that neither Ford nor GM have specifically asked for any bailouts - although it's suggested that there have been some quiet requests for assistance with health-care and pension costs - and that in his conversations with Bill Ford Jr. and Rick Wagoner, there has been no specific discussion of balance sheets (this is the spot where one is supposed to insert a pithy comment about Bush's track record in the corporate world, although I'm just not in the mood for that today).

What has been brought up during talks between the White House and automakers is the need for workable alternative fuel concepts, which is a topic that may be raised again during next week's State of the Union address.

[Related - U.S. government announces $119 million for hydrogen vehicles]

Thanks to Mark and skeptic for the tips.



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