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Alan Mulally's Excellent Road Trip To Washington

We're really having a lot of fun thinking about Ford chief executive Alan Mulally driving to Washington to beg for money, as opposed to taking a private jet to beg for money, which is what he and the heads of the other Big Three automakers did last time. And got hammered for it.

Apparently, you're having a good time with the idea, too.

Here are a few comments to our blog posting of last night's breaking the news of Alan's Excellent Road Trip: (It was just reported that GM chief Rick Wagoner will drive a Chevy Malibu hybrid sedan to Washington. As of this moment, Chrysler chief Bob Nardelli apparently will fly, but commercial this time)

-- "HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! I'm laughing my head off at the very idea. But, here's the point, darlings: the three of them could hitchhike from Detroit to DC, packing tuna sandwiches in a hankie-on-a-stick slung over one shoulder, and stick a fake patch on old jeans -- but nothing can mitigate the corporate jet/tin cup reality."

-- "If Mulally or Ford had any brains whatsoever, they would make the road trip a PR event, with a video blog and Twitters the whole way."

-- "Why don't all three of them car pool? Along the way, they could stop in towns that would be affected by a shutdown and do town halls with employees."

-- "Car pooling? Great idea! But whose car are they going to ride in? Are Wagoner and Nardelli going to hop into Mullaly's Ford??"

We love the idea of a car pool, if only for the image of these three auto multimillionaires in suits shoved into the same car for a 10-hour drive. Lots of questions:

-- What do they drive? A GM, a Ford or a Chrysler? Do they switch vehicles at the one-third and two-third points of the trip?

-- Auto bingo or "I spy?"

-- Who gets shotgun and who has to ride in the back? ("I will pull this car over right now!")

-- Mickey D's, BK or Wendy's? ("No, Bob. There's no place you can get a 'nice salad.' This is the Ohio Turnpike, for crying out loud. You'll get Sbarro or nothing.")

-- Who gets control of the radio? We see Mulally as a country fan but Wagoner as more of a smooth jazz listener.

One other thought on Alan's Excellent Road Trip: God forbid his car breaks down. It would become the very definition of "PR disaster."

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 2, 2008; 10:18 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Alan Mulally, Bob Nardelli, Rick Wagoner, automakers  
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Comments

To show proper penitance all three should crowd into an early 70s Pinto, with its rear differential bolts oh-so-close to its gas tank (a design flaw Ford declined to correct after comparing the cost [about $8.00] against the projected number of people burning to death after rear-end collisions) with a 4-ton Ford Excursion tailgating all the way.

Posted by: tontosage | December 2, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

these hybrids have no advantage on the highway, they just drag extra weight around. the advantage is in city driving--not detroit to d.c. they should drive volkswagen diesel jettas.

the ford escape 4wd hybrid gets 27 mpg highway; the jetta non-hybrid diesel gets 41.

what are they trying to prove here?

Posted by: comments99 | December 2, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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