A senior Democratic Senator has demanded that the CEOs of the Detroit 3 step down if they want their companies to be given federal aid. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut singled out General Motors’ chief Rick Wagoner as someone that "has to move on".

President-elect Barack Obama was not as willing to single out any auto industry executives but he did mention that the current crop of senior management at the Detroit 3 lack a "sense of urgency and the willingness to make decisions". He also added that American auto industry executives are still receiving executive compensation packages that are "out of line compared to their Japanese competitors, who are doing a lot better."

While currently Congress and the White House are working to secure around $15 billion in short-term loans for the Detroit 3, Obama is determined to make sure that the auto industry understands that the current situation is unacceptable. Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, he said "the last thing I want to see happen is for the auto industry to disappear, but I'm also concerned that we don't put $10 billion or $20 billion or $30 billion or whatever billion dollars into an industry, and then, six months to a year later, they come back hat in hand and say give me more”.

Meanwhile, Senator Dodd's comments about GM's CEO have understandably ruffled a few feathers in Detroit. In response to the comments, the carmaker released a statement that said "the employees of GM, its dealers, its suppliers and its Board of Directors all support Rick Wagoner and are confident he is the person to lead GM through these difficult times".