Now that Ford CEO Alan Mulally has written-off the chances of an auto industry sales receovery for 2009, his Detroit brethren have decided to join the Greek chorus bemoaning their fate. Bloomberg caught up with former Toyota and current Chrysler Prez Jim Press in Paris to hear the bad news. “I don’t see any `whys’ why it’s going to be any better,” Press announced. “We’re already adjusting to this level pretty well. We’re learning how to fight through it. It’s hand-to-hand combat. It’s tough.” Especially if you don’t have a golden parachute strapped to your back. GM’s Fritz Henderson, also not staying at a Timhotel, was slightly less pessimistic about the year ahead. “Even if [the $700b federal bailout plan] does pass, I still think that ’09 will be weaker,” the COO told Business Week. “I don’t see anything which would suggest that you’d see a significant rebound, at least in the first half.” And then Fritz says some scary ass shit. “If the situation deteriorates further, we’ll have to look at further actions, but we don’t have anything planned today.” And… “Henderson said GM’s liquidity plan was based on a forecast of industrywide U.S. car sales of 14 million this year and next. ‘At the time we felt that was a conservative level. Given what’s happened, I’m glad we chose a conservative level because that could well be the level it lands at.’ Uh, Dude, we’re looking at sales WELL under 13m, maybe closer to 12. To paraphrase Sweet Pete, that’s a spittoon full of not good.
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