A great deal of fuss has been made over the last week or so about the travel arrangements of the leaders of the Detroit 3 automakers. By now, you're surely aware that Rick Wagoner of General Motors, Alan Mulally at Ford and Bob Nardelli at Chrysler traveled to our nation's capital to discuss Federal loans for their prospective companies in private jets. Yeah, not the smartest way to travel when you are begging for money. So, have you really explored all of your cash-saving options? Perhaps not.

After that very public debacle, General Motors announced that it had already returned two of its private jets a few months back and has plans to end the leases on two more this month. Ford is now reportedly following suit, but it sounds as if the move is just as much for public relations as anything else. Will Chrysler follow suit?

Ignoring the plain-as-day ungreenliness of private jet travel for a moment, is this really what we should all be focusing on? While it may have been a boneheaded decision, isn't it about time to move along already? Each of the Detroit automakers have CEOs that had better be pretty busy trying to save their companies, and to make that a reality, they need to get around somehow. As a PR issue, the three CEOs should obviously have laid a bit lower for their trips to DC, but lets not allow private jets to obscure the real issue at hand, which is whether or not the American automakers should get Federal aid and how best to get fuel efficient and alternative energy vehicles in consumer's hands as quickly as possible.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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