Chrysler still makes cars? Apparently so, and CEO Bob Nardelli was on Capitol Hill yesterday with his colleagues from Ford and General Motors, warning that the Pentastar is in serious danger of exhausting its reserves by early 2009. Chrysler's share of the $25 billion in aid the automakers are asking for stands at $7 billion, though at the current rate, that money wouldn't last long, possibly about one fiscal quarter. Senators are concerned that the automakers will turn into a monetary black hole, but the Detroit CEOs are trying to plead the case that securing some federal help will make it easier to emerge out the other side of this downturn.

Nardelli did pledge to accept a $1 per year salary if it would help sway those with the purse strings. It would have been nice if he'd made that pledge to help his company and workforce, instead of it just being a token gesture to help him pick the pocket of the American taxpayer, but the $1 salary, which mimics what Lee Iacocca did during Chrysler's last near-failure, may play better than Alan Mulally's concern over a potential retention problem if the management is actually held accountable. Rick Wagoner divulged that he'd cut his salary by half. We think CEO salaries of a buck are fair - shoot, you can still afford a PT Cruiser on that pay.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]