Before flying into Washington D.C. for two days of Congressional hearings, Ford CEO Alan Mulally told me that he's looking forward to talking with U.S. Senators and explaining how Ford is transforming its business.
He's right, Ford is changing what it does and how it does it. Still, Mulally better prepare to get blasted by some Senators.
Call this the public flogging of the Big 3 and the UAW. There are many Senators and U.S. Representatives who believe Detroit doesn't get it. They think Detroit's automakers have been whistling past the graveyard, with costs that are too high and products that don't measure up. This is their chance to poke their collective finger in the chest of the Big 3 and say, "Get your act together!"
This is also part of the price the Big 3 have to pay for seeking $25 billion to keep them from sliding into bankruptcy.
Here on Capitol Hill, there are many who think giving Detroit is throwing good money after bad. They think the auto makers would be better served restructuring under chapter 11. Their arguments are not completely without merit.
But ultimately, this debate and decision over a bailout comes down to whether or not Congress wants to roll the dice on forcing Detroit automakers to go bankrupt. My gut says that after all the choice comments during two days of hearings, the Big 3 CEOs will get the federal loans they need.
- Let Makers of Huge Cars Fail: Analyst
- Autos Can't Be Bailed Out Like Banks
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com