Auto Industry to Obama: Save Us Before Even Taking Office

Posted: November 6, 2008

The Detroit Free Press reports, "The chief executives of the Detroit's automakers and the UAW president are to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today to discuss the possibility of a second $25-billion loan to the companies, as General Motors Corp. prepares to report financial results Friday that will sound new alarms about the industry's need for aid."  The meeting, the industry hopes, "will pave the way for Congress to include new loans and perhaps other aid in a new economic stimulus plan, but that could be delayed by political maneuvering until after the inauguration of Democratic President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 21." 

The automakers have wasted no time lobbying the next president for aid.  A General Motors press release sent to the media just hours after the President-elect's victory speech began, "General Motors congratulates Senator Obama on his historic win.  He will assume office at an extraordinary time, with a number of national priorities that will require his and Congress' immediate attention.  GM welcomes President-elect Obama's pledge to support our nation's domestic auto industry," which "will enable a competitive U.S. industry to contribute significantly to our nation's economic revival, in employment, technology, energy security, and other important areas."

USA Today even includes aid for struggling automakers in "a partial list of what President-elect Obama is expected to do before taking the oath of office on Jan. 20." [emphasis ours]

Investors seem to believe that Obama's election means an industry bailout is coming.  Barron's reports, "Auto makers may be experiencing the worst sales environment since the closing days of World War II, but having a patron in high places might be enough to allow them to limp through to a recovery. Shares of General Motors" rose "as much as 6% Wednesday, while Ford Motor added 2% amid expectations that a Barack Obama administration will make saving the auto industry one of its priorities."

The AP speculates, "Barack Obama's victory in the presidential race will give labor unions and the embattled U.S. auto industry a strong ally in the White House."

The Washington Times adds, "He may have only weeks to forge a deal to keep one or more of Detroit's Big Three automakers from falling into bankruptcy - something many analysts say could happen even before he takes office."

Save the U.S. auto industry from itself before even taking office?  No pressure.

While they try to talk the new President into a loan, the Big Three are still offering aggressive incentives to bring buyers back to showrooms.  Research the best car deals for November with U.S. News' car rankings and reviews

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