BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – Before leaving Detroit on his road trip to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner told FOXNews.com he feels prepared for the historic hearings.
Wagoner — along with Ford's Alan Mulally and Chrysler's Robert Nardelli — is set to go before a Senate panel Thursday and a House panel Friday to ask lawmakers for part of a $34 billion bailout proposed by the automakers.
GM is asking for up to $18 billion to keep the company afloat and to avoid bankruptcy. In exchange, it said it would undergo sweeping reforms that include revamping union contracts and other cost-saving measures that companies typically seek in bankruptcy.
"We’ve responded to the questions and the requests. So let us go down and make that case," Wagoner said Wednesday morning in a parking lot across the street from his home in Birmingham, Mich.
In what he said is a cost-saving measure, Wagoner decided to drive the 525 miles to D.C. rather than fly, following the public relations disaster after he, Mulally and Nardelli took private jets to the Capitol the last time they appeared before Congress.
Mulally and Nardelli also made the decision to drive to D.C. this time.
Wagoner, who has a salary of $2.2 million dollars this year but agreed to slash that to just $1 in 2009, appeared comfortably dressed in jeans and a sweater.
He waved goodbye after getting behind the wheel of a 2009 Chevy Malibu Hybrid before embarking on the 10-hour drive in the pre-dawn hours.
Wagoner appeared upbeat and said he would do some driving but would also use the time in the car to put the finishing touches on his testimony.
"It’s a good chance for me to do some briefing and return some phone calls as well … on my OnStar, hands-free, by the way," Wagoner said.