While Ford (F) CEO, Alan Mulally stood with Barack Obama in the Rose Garden yesterday to support the new fuel economy standards, just two days prior, his company almost broke the entire deal.
The LA Times, has a short account of the behind the scenes cajoling required to get the plan in place.
On Sunday, when the plan was all set, Ford called up and said it “crunched the numbers” and higher standards might kill them. Obama’s people told them to check their numbers and make sure they carried all the zeros. Ford re-ran its numbers, got “another application of White House pressure” and realised that it could survive, the LAT reports.
So, does this mean Ford can really increase its efficiency and be fine? It could have been Ford trying to shake down the government and scare them. Thus far, the administration has shown little fear of auto companies. Or might there be an agreement that when Ford struggles they get a check like everyone else?
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