Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press reiterated the need for government aid to help support the auto industry as he travels to hearings in Washington, D.C.
"Our cars aren't the problem, our sales are half of what they were a year ago, but we are making better quality cars with better gas mileage," said Press in an interview on CNBC's Power Lunch. "...It's not just us, it's the industry, people can't get loans, they have no confidence to buy a car, they're worried about losing their jobs."
(To hear the complete interview, watch the attached video.)
Press is on the road travelling to Washington for the congressional hearings. Along the way, he is attending rallies at car dealerships so he can meet with people on a "grassroots level," he said.
He stressed that Chrysler is looking for a bridge loan rather than a bailout.
Press also said that the discussion of potential bankruptcy in the auto industry is one reason for the sector's troubles because consumers have been hearing that if one company fails it will force others into bankruptcy.
Still, he acknowledged that the dialogue regarding the industries' troubles was necessary.
"We knew there was a risk, but we have to be transparent...We have to preserve out jobs and our company," Press said.
He added that it is important to find new ways to work together with its unions to establish new work rules, relationships and develop "a culture of success in terms of efficiency and low cost."