• Nov 9th 2006 at 7:58PM
  • 30
Bill Ford, Rick Wagoner and Tom LaSorda have been twiddling their thumbs since May waiting for the White House to confirm a date for the Detroit trio to meet with George Bush, the D.C. decider. Tentative times have come and gone, and as each one passed, the perception that the current administration cares little about the challenges facing domestic automakers continued to grow. In reality, those challenges that include health care costs and the price of imported raw materials like steel, just didn't make for good pre-election prattle.

Not a day after the midterm elections have passed, the White House has announced that George Bush will meet with Ford, Wagoner and LaSorda next Tuesday. No additional details were given about what time the meeting would take place or if an agenda of talking points had been set.

Most of us on the Autoblog team are apolitical when it comes to cars, but since the Republicans have lost control over both houses of Congress, we can't help but wonder if Detroit should instead sit down for a chat with someone like N ancy Pelosi (D - CA), the presumptive Speaker of the House, or Harry Reid (D - NV), the soon-to-be leader of the Senate's majority.

BTW - if you'd like to talk politics in the comments, feel free. Keep it civil, though, or we'll be forced to turn the comments off.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pelosi is a communist.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Big 3 should be ashamed to admit that they essentially fell asleep at the switch in product development, caved in on labor negotiations, and mismanaged their costs year after year - so now they need help from Daddy! Waaaaaaaaaah.

      Where they really castrate themselves in in asking to UNLEVEL the playing field to penalize transplant manufacturers that have employed tens of thousands of Americans since the early 80s.

      Hopefully the Congress will tell them to grow a set and deal with it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Democrat USED to mean democrat.Now the democratic party is just a mismatched band of special interest groups.Pelosi is a socialist.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Actually, Pelosi is not a Communist. She's actually a Democrat.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Reading the comments from the Republicans/Conservatives here, it is no wonder that got such a "thumpin'" on Tuesday. You have no idea who the Democrats are what they stand for. You don't have to like them or agree with them, but at least take the trouble to inform yourself on what their policies actually are instead of mindlessly believing whatever garbage Limpbaugh/Drudge/OReilly/Coulter are spewing. Hint: they are partisan demagogues who lie to you.

      Pelsosi is not a "communist" or a "socialist". Anyone who uses those words to describe democrats should take the time to educate themselves as to what those words actually mean, and then comare those defintions to what the Democratic positions actually are. Again you may not like them but at least understand what you are talking about for a change.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Most of you are missing the big picture here. This has nothing to do with Republicans vs. Democrasts vs. Independents vs. whomever else. Heck, even building relevant and exciting cars is only a small part of it. The big issue here is the uncompetitive environment the entire U.S. manufacturing sector (not just automotive-centric Detroit) is forced to operate within. Health care should be at top of the agenda for this meeting, along with currency manipulation practices by foreign governments. It just so happens that the automotive industry is the canary in the mineshaft. If these issues aren’t addressed soon, then you’ll see them spread to non-automotive industries as well.

      Don’t get me wrong, there’s no doubt that the U.S. automakers are the ones responsible for their current situation. Years of building sub-standard cars has caught up with them in a big way, but the heads of these auto companies have repeatedly said they are not looking for a handout, just a level playing field.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Colbert is Left wing infotainment for the simpleminded
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey im in the market for a new car.. guess what? i have driven almost every brand except suzuki.. In my opinion American cars are every bit as good as Japanese. If not better. I drove Honda and Toyota and for the life of me i cant see why folks hype them so much.. Very ordinary cars to say the least. I drove a Buick LaCrosse and its a much better car than a Toyota Camry.. And less expensive i might add. I have narrowed my choices down to Chevrolet Impala with 3.9 engine and Chrysler 300.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Talking to Premier Bush might be a waste of time at this juncture.

      I'd suggest they just all appear on the Colbert Report.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes, the big 2.5 do need create better and more quality products with design queues that appeal to the American public. They're working on that. Yes, there has been mis-management at many levels. However, even if they come up with a hit design, odds are that vehicle is going to be built at a factory outside of this country.

      For example,

      Ford, current NA hits:

      Fusion, MKZ, Milan
      Built in Hermosillo, MX

      Edge, MXK
      Built in Oakville, ON CA

      Odds are this trend will continue. The labor costs in the US are FAR too high and something needs to be to make US labor completive at least with our neighbors to the north and south.
      • 8 Years Ago
      # 23. """I would like to see a hands-off government in this situation. If they cannot afford to compete in the private, free market then tough cookies. If the government helps them, then the rest of blue collar America can start asking for assistance curbing their import comeptition, including those from illegal aliens. lol"""

      Great point, it's called free markets. Why should other carmakers suffer for a simple reason that GM and Ford had an orgy with gas guzlers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      US don't want to pay for health care; free market they call it. Believe it or not, but the US society is paying for Japanese Health care when they buy Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas and so on. US corporation have to pay for their employees and in return, citizens subsidize Japan health care system. This does not excuse bad management, shoddy products and so on. But how do you get your act together with this kind of disadvantage?

      This is a very interesting paradox.

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