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What do the Detroit automakers, Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive and Honda have in common? Today, someone from each of these companies met with representatives from the Obama administration at the White House. On the table was a discussion of electric vehicles and how utility companies can/will play a role in the roll-out. Even though Obama himself supports plug-in vehicles, he was in Iowa for a health care rally. We don't know what was said in D.C., but the meeting was apparently headed by auto

Two weeks ago Fiat and Chrysler unleashed an ambitious five-year plan to return Detroit's number three automaker to financial and product health. The plan called for 14 all-new models based mostly on Fiat platforms and ten more vehicles which will receive much-needed attention. While Senator John McCain isn't so sure Chrysler will survive the next few years, Obama Auto Task Force Chief Ron Bloom likes what he sees.

The last two chief financial officers at General Motors, Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson, eventually became CEO. Ray Young, who has been CFO at the General for less than a year and a half, likely won't make it to the top. The Detroit News reports that Young is going to resign his post as CFO in the weeks ahead, and he may be only one of a few departures among senior GM brass.

Ron Bloom's role in the bankruptcy and re-emergence of Chrysler and General Motors has proven that his experience driving negotiations with the United Steelworkers union is portable. Pushing the two automotive giants through restructuring in an impressively quick manner has given the Obama administration the impression that Mr. Bloom (far left) is a good choice to head up a manufacturing overlord position which will focus on building that sector of America's economy back up. An appointment annou

Steve Rattner, the former Wall Street executive who was tapped by the Obama Administration run point for the Auto Task Force, is reportedly stepping down after five months on the job. According to a statement from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Rattner (above, far right) will now "transition back to private life and his family in New York City." He added, "I hope that he takes another opportunity to bring his unique skills to government service in the future."

To date, the U.S. government has reportedly given General Motors, Chrysler, their financial institutions and various industry suppliers about $80 billion in taxpayer money, and Congress wants to know when we're going to get that money back. The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing with the Auto Task Force for the first time to discuss the state of the government loans, as well as whether or not taxpayers will ever be paid back.

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