By on December 2, 2008

ABC News— originators of “Jet-gate”– report that both Ford and GM have decided to sell their corporate aircraft. GM’s press release on the subject was uncharacteristically terse, and characteristically timed (released on the same day as November’s abysmal sales stats). “GM… is ceasing operations at General Motors Air Transportation Services (GMATS) at Detroit Metro Airport. Due to significant cutbacks over the past months, GM travel volume no longer justifies a dedicated corporate aircraft operation.” So where does that leave The General’s transport? The automaker is “currently exploring options for transferring its aircraft to another operator” and “pursuing sale of four of the aircraft so it can terminate the leases. GM will shutter the facility at Metro Airport effective January 1, 2009. GM will work with the airport to seek a tenant for the balance of the lease, which expires in 2009.” Zero percent finance available? Meanwhile, Ford’s decision to sell four jets (Volvo thrown in) didn’t make its press site. But we can now reveal that GM CEO Rick Wagoner will be racing Alan Mulally’s Escape Hybrid to Washington in a Malibu hybrid. ChryCo’s CEO will also be driving to DC, but his exact mode of transport is a state secret, for security reasons.

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11 Comments on “Ford and GM to Sell Corporate Jets...”

  • avatar
    Casual Observer

    That’s like selling my couch on eBay to try to save my house from foreclosure.

  • avatar

    Ah, the Captains of Accountancy, how have the mighty fallen.

    Maybe time to give a nod to IKEA.

    Founded by Kamprad in 1943, privately owned, operating in 36 countries.

    The entire expansion has been funded through profits created by the company. Kamprad has never borrowed a single Swedish Krona.

    The holding company now includes the manufacturing arm, the sales companies running the stores, and the design companies developing the products.

    Mr Kamprad flies coach, and used to take the bus into town from the airport, for meetings.

  • avatar

    Probably went like this – last time:

    “Guys, you have to help us look tough. We can’t just hand over 25 billion on your first visit.”

    “Hmmm. What if you ask whether we flew in on company jets? Then you get all sarcastic on us.”

    “Great idea! I can say you look pretty silly with a tin cup in your hand, begging for a handout, coming down the steps from your jet.”

    “I did look silly. Anyway. That helps make you look less like push-overs, we have to eat some humble pie, we’ll get rid of the jets.”

    “And then when this all blows over you can get the jets again. They’re really handy when I have to get somewhere.”

  • avatar

    Nothing stops them from hiring a jet on an as needed basis.

    They are just going from owning or leasing their executive air transportation to renting it.

  • avatar
    Chris Inns

    You could justify private jets for efficient managers of profitable companies – but for these guys?

  • avatar

    So the big question is, who is buying the jet?

  • avatar

    As said above, they’ll probably begin to use charter services or fractional ownership. It’s much cheaper than aircraft ownership. Business aviation is not the evil that people make it out to be. I believe that our vast country is much better connected because of it.

  • avatar
    Ken Elias

    Alan Mulally needs a jet and should have one. He knows what needs to be done and is doing it…albeit he needs to speed that process up. He’s the team leader, and likely needs to be in many places in one day, something that can’t happen on the airlines.

    Wagoner and Nardelli might as well walk everywhere given the value of their contributions. No one would miss them.

  • avatar

    N85523, nice Champ.

    I agree, surprised they own and they will likely lease back from another entity. CarCos should pickup a King Air 350 or Piaggio Avanti so they can claim to have arrived “on a prop plane.”

  • avatar

    I guarantee you, they’re already planning to buy the next round of jets that will be even more expensive.

    Probably getting some help from real useful people like UN ambassadors on paint color, which marble for the countertops and whether to use yellow gold or white gold for the toilet bowls.

  • avatar

    Funny how they had to be put on the hotseat to “change” their ways. Just another demonstration of how Detroit won’t change at the roots level.

    Of course now they are driving ten hours each way to the meetings. DUMB! Why not suck it up, rent a jet or prop plane and “jetpool”? Why not just get on a commercial jet and fly first class?

    I’d surely feel like they were doing better things with their short time left in business if they were sitting in an airport VIP lounge waiting for their flight or at least riding to DC in the back of a vehicle large enough to carry them and some assistants so they could strategize the whole way.

    How urgent is their situation if they will waste two days on the highway?

    Rent a bus and “buspool”. Room for lots of assistants, advisors, and laptops.

    The act they do is tiring…

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