Fleet Buyers in the Middle of Government Bailout Controversy

May 08, 2009
This week the USA Today reported on another example of the built-in controversy that comes with being a company whose a recipient of government bailout money. This time it hits close to home for those of us in the fleet industry.

Facing possible bankruptcy, 500 of General Motors best fleet customers were treated to a luxurious week at the Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Arizona, paying for airfare and lodging for the majority of their guests.

This coming after GM borrowed $15.4 billion from the government this year. A GM spokesperson says the event is scaled back from previous years and is held as a way to promote GM’s 2010 products to a group that accounts for over a quarter of the companies business.

Critics say that any company that takes government money needs to spend it wisely before it takes any more. (A reported $30 billion in additional funds may be needed for GM to avoid bankruptcy)

The controversy brings up an interesting debate on government bailout money that seems to be a little different from the outrage caused by other companies in the last few months that rewarded employees with bonus packages and lavish vacations.

In the case of GM, this retreat was more about entertaining customers and staying competitive in the very lucrative fleet sales business. The big question is, do you want your taxpayer money to go to financing these sales meetings, or should GM be held to rigid fiscal responsibility until they’ve proven they are on the road to recovery.

Let us know what you think and tell us this: Would you have gone on the trip if you were extended an invitation? Even better, if you were one of the 500 who spent the week at the resort courtesy of GM, was it as good/bad as it sounds?

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