COMPAS Poll/Survey
November 27, 2008

Advice to Detroit Automakers and Stephen Harper: U.S. Automakers, Get Humble... You Are Botching Up Badly; Prime Minister, Be Hardnosed in Protecting Taxpayers

  BDO Dunwoody Weekly CEO/Business Leader Poll By COMPAS in Canadian Business
Policy and Opinion
Consumer and Lifestyle
Business and Finance

The CEOs and business leaders on the COMPAS panel are in a state of near disbelief as they watch the Detroit automakers seek aid from the U.S. and Canadian governments. The U.S. automakers earn abysmal failing grades for their approach. On the specific issue of how the Detroit CEOs should have traveled to Washington to meet with Congress, only 12% believe that they should have taken corporate jets. The vast majority say that they should have taken scheduled flights, 40% say in economy class, 30% in first class.

Asked what they would advise the Detroit CEOs, many would recommend putting a halt on what they perceive as company hubris. Some recommend bankruptcy, others a new generation of leadership.

Asked what they would advise the Prime Minister, most emphasize the importance of nard-nosed calculations. The CEOs and business leaders on the COMPAS panel are environmentally minded. But producing more green cars should not be the main requirement for assistance to the automakers. The two main conditions for financial support should be protecting Canadian jobs and providing government with an equity stake that it could subsequently sell to the benefit of taxpayers.

These are the key findings from this past week’s Internet survey of CEOs and business leaders on the COMPAS panel. The weekly business survey is undertaken for Canadian Business magazine under sponsorship of BDO Dunwoody LLP.


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