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Tips for Ending Motor City Malaise « The Washington Independent

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Helpful hints to Detroit’s Big Three execs now pleading their case in Washington:

Convert the walls lining Mahogany Row to sheetrock. Do you or don’t you want to show shareholders and employees that management “gets it”?

Swallow that overweening pride of yours and place “For a Rainy Day” canisters at the end of every row of seats at this week’s D.C. hearings. They’ll have to admit you’re really trying.

Jaundicehatandlogo3.jpg
Jaundicehatandlogo3.jpg

Throw daily parties on your assembly lines and lubricate with free booze; workers have a high old time, production slows to a crawl, and finally — finally! — supply starts matching demand.

Playing the sympathy card is way overdue: blame your haywire financial situation on a C.F.O. with advanced A.D.D. and say the bastard hid it for years.

Using the standard per-vehicle estimate of 10,000 miles annually, add up the miles not driven and fuel not consumed by all your unsold 2008 units — millions of gallons, huge energy-saving story: “We’re doing our part!”

Offer free comprehensive health care with every new-vehicle purchase. Need for Scandinavian or U.K. citizenship goes in the fine print. Come on, who has time these days to read fine print?

If the billions of bucks in bailout loans come through, use the money creatively: donate half a billion bucks to every U.S. senator and sit back as laws banning fuel-efficient cars sail right through. Pressure’s off!

Cash in on the value of empty symbolism: with the word “Detroit” such heap bad karma, shift corporate H.Q. to sweet, green, tree-hugging Vermont and get an instant image up bounce.

Run 2008 Annual Report sales charts upside-down. If anybody quibbles, claim it was a misprint and scapegoat the graphic artist.

Bruce McCall, a humorist, is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He is the author of “All Meat Looks Like South America: The World of Bruce McCall” and “Zany Afternoons.”

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