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As automakers took more financial hits in 2006 that led to layoffs and cost-cutting, company executives asserted that they too would cut down on their personal budgets. But WXYZ-TV found out that the executives did nothing to reduce their use of corporate jets and fuel in trips costing in the tens of thousands of dollars. The eight-month investigation uncovered situations like that of Ford CEO BIll Ford, Jr. He accepted a yearly salary of only a dollar, and used company planes for personal trips to the tune of $297,201 in a single year. Ford president Mark Fields is tasked with cutting costs in the company, yet used the planes on many weekends to take trips from Detroit to his mansion in Florida at a cost of between $50,000 and $70,000 each weekend.
One of the most profitable rackets in the automotive industry is lemon laundering.