Bailout Watch 235: 20 Questions Congress Should Ask Chrysler, Ford and GM

Richard N. Tilton
by Richard N. Tilton

Litigators use yes/no questions to focus witness testimony and prevent dodging, weaving and long-winded evasiveness. Here are 20 direct questions for Wagoner, Mulally and Nardelli. No doubt TTAC’s Best and Brightest have their own questions which they would like to have answered under oath.

1. Did you bring with you complete and current financial statements, including a balance sheet and financial projections?
2. Are all these financial statements and projections submitted to this committee also available to US taxpayers?
3. Have your financial statements and projections been shared with the UAW?
4. Have they been given to any of your bondholders?
5. Are your financial projections based on the “worst case” scenario?
6. Do you have other models/scenarios for financial projections? For example, is there a best case scenario?
7. Have you provided us with a written statement of all the assumptions you relied on in preparing the financial projections?
8. Did outside consultants/advisors assist in the preparation of your financial projections?
9. Based on the balance sheet presented to us, do your liabilities exceed your assets?
10. Have you spent more than $1 million in 2008 lobbying Congress for financial aid? More than $10 million? More than $20 million?
11. Have you had discussions with your largest bondholders about forgoing interest and principal payments until any taxpayer loan is repaid?
12. Have you asked any bondholders to convert their unsecured debt into common shares?
13. Have any bondholders agreed to convert their debt into common shares?
14. Have any of your bondholders formed a negotiating committee?
15. Do you intend to renegotiate your current labor agreements with the UAW?
16. Do you intend to reduce your dealer network?
17. Have you retained investment bankers to assist you in selling any assets?
18. Do you have collateral to secure repayment of any loan made by US taxpayers?
19. Do you personally have an employment agreement?
20. If your employment is terminated, are you entitled to a severance payment?

Join the conversation
2 of 15 comments
  • Ronin Ronin on Dec 04, 2008

    Gentlemen, instead of talking about the cuts you will make if taxpayers give you money, why haven't you made them already? This includes the UAW. If you are really serious about saving your company, these seem prudent steps to take regardless. Why only now do you come up with these ideas? What other ideas have you not yet come up with? If you have come up with new ideas in two weeks, why won't you have even better ideas in January?

  • TireGuy TireGuy on Dec 04, 2008
    EJ_San_Fran : December 3rd, 2008 at 8:46 pm Mr. Wagoner, for a long time your market share has been declining by a percent per year and is now down to only 20%. Is your viability plan still viable if that trend continues? Actually, the plan is not viable if the trend continues. GM admits so much. Its own plan assumes that it will even have a market share growth of 0,5% in the next two years. LOL

  • Jkross22 That's a great looking shifter. Reminds me of the old school late 70s BMW manual - BTW TTAC, that would be a cool article to run - Best looking shifters in the last 30 years. My vote:Audi gated shifter from the R8. Should've offered that on every RS model and let people special order.
  • Ajla Maybe they should not have released several special edition Broncos when they couldn't even get regular trim orders out within a year?I'm not sure who is in charge of Ford's production but they deserve to be very fired.
  • ToolGuy "Removing them saved 16 pounds, according to Dodge. Snazzy optional two-piece lightweight carbon fiber wheels are also part of an overall SlimFast program shedding 157 pounds compared to a Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody."From a different writeup: "The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 shaves weight with the addition of lightweight front brakes, hollow sway bars, passenger and rear seat delete, trunk trim, noise, vibration, harshness pad delete, and lightweight interior carpet with a minimal audio system."• Did Dodge consider any lightweighting efforts with the lead-acid starter battery? Because Group 94 LiFePO4 saves 35 pounds of mass vs. standard lead-acid.(If Dodge already did this, Old Guy apologizes for being mired in the past and slinks back to his cave.)
  • Mattwc1 I grew up as a Datsun/Nissan fanboy. I cringed when the lineup (early to mid 2000’s) was a large amorphous blob of uninspired design. However, I think Nissan is starting to turn the corner in design and engineering. Let’s face it, the Rogue is the moneymaker for Nissan and as such it is well positioned in the market. I like the refreshed Sentra, Frontier, Pathfinder. I bought my daughter a Kicks to replace her trusty but rusty Vibe for a very good price.She essentially wanted the Vibe features in a newer packNow if they could do something about the public perception of the Altima driver…..
  • ToolGuy Dear EV Manufacturer,I tend to accumulate multiple vehicles and hang onto them longer than most people. In the future it is extremely likely that I will own multiple electric vehicles which occasionally sit for some period of time without being driven much. On the EV's that I acquire, I would appreciate the following feature:• 'Battery Maintenance Mode' where I can keep the vehicle plugged into a source of power and it maintains the battery at an ideal state of charge for 'long-term' storage (40%? 50%? 60%? Probably not 80% and certainly not "100%")• Also in this mode it would automatically perform cell balancing and whatever the equivalent of desulfation is for the relevant battery chemistry. If it can advise me the human owner that it needs to be 'exercised' every 60 days or whatever, that would also be appreciated.• Once this mode is selected, we need it to *stay* in that mode regardless of power outages, resets, over-the-air updates which I didn't request, etc. If anything software-related kicks it out of Battery Maintenance Mode and it reverts to nervous-nellie-range-anxiety-i-can't-move-the-vehicle-3-meters-if-it-isn't-completely-fully-charged-to-100%-let's-destroy-this-battery-RIGHT-away Mode, that's no good. (A physical switch would do this -- and a rotary switch would look cool.)Yours in Saving the Planet (and my wallet), ToolGuy