By on October 3, 2011

Whether or not the White House pressured or even contacted Ford Motor Company after the company released their recent ad appealing to anti-bailout sentiments we’ll probably never know. We’ll also probably never know if this was all just a symphony of leaks and disclaimers orchestrated by Ford. What we do know, thanks to a Rasmussen opinion poll [Sub. required, some data here], is that Ford had good reason to stoke American consumers’ resentment against it’s domestic competitors because they were bailed out by the government. The poll shows that the bailout is clearly a factor, sometimes an overriding one, in automobile purchase decisions. Not only did nearly one in five recent Ford buyers say that they or family members specifically chose Ford products because they didn’t take a government bailout, about half of all consumers surveyed said that they were more likely to buy Fords than GM or Chrysler products specifically because Ford didn’t get bailed out. [Note: Yes, Ford took Dept. of Energy loans and other government funds, but this survey was looking at people's opinions, not facts.]

To be clear, this was a political opinion poll of likely voters, not market research, and the questions were worded to provoke a response but the results were pretty consistent.

Nineteen percent of those questioned responded “yes” to the question: Have you or anyone in your family bought a car from Ford because it didn’t take a government bailout? Of people age 18 to 29, that figure rises to 33%.

When asked: Has the bailout and government takeover of GM caused you or anyone you know to avoid buying a GM car?, 25% of respondents said yes.

To “Does the fact that GM took bailout money make you more or less likely to buy a GM car?”, 50% said less likely. I’d really be interested in interviewing some of the 4% that said “more likely”. How does the fact that a company had to be bailed out make its products more desirable? Perhaps that’s a sympathy vote.

To the question: “Ford didn’t take bailout funding. Does this make you more or less likely to buy from Ford?”, 51% said more likely and 12% said less likely. Perhaps those 12% don’t think Ford needs their help.

Either way, the survey results quantify the subjective experience of Chris McDaniel, the F-150 owner who was featured expressing anti-bailout sentiments in the commercial at the center of this brouhaha. Politics aside, this Rasmussen poll shows that Ford would have missed a marketing opportunity had it not exploited those sentiments.

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90 Comments on “Half of American Car Shoppers “More Likely” to Buy Fords Because of Bailouts...”


  • avatar
    thirty-three

    I wonder how many of those people would have been upset at the government if there hadn’t been a bailout, and both GM and Chrysler were now defunct.

    I guess we’ll never know.

    • 0 avatar
      Aqua225

      Chrysler would not have made it through bankruptcy, and their dead carcass would have been split up and sold off to various other manufacturers.

      GM would have gone into a real bankruptcy, severed their union ties, and probably come out to be the most powerful automaker on the planet, sans government interference and control, and union meddling.

      Right now, they are just a has been again, even with the sales numbers they are turning in. They 20 billion dollars of un-satisfied commitments for retirement and benefits still on books. They gained nothing, learned nothing, and will eventually hit bankruptcy again, and in probably worse shape than before.

      I have a feeling the Dodge brothers would not have wanted their company in FIAT control like it is now, and would have rather seen the operation sold off to brands who could turn out new Dodge-ish products.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        We are talking half of Americans.
        That is more than just an ill-informed minority.
        That is more than just a fad or a meme.

        That is a trend.
        If Ford ignored it, they would be like a bottled water company refusing to take advantage of a drought. Any management of a corporation that refuses to touch the belief held by half of any market, should be instantly fired.

        When half of Americans believe something, we are not going to believe that for some unknown reason, half of America went nuts – or we would have no basis for any polling, government, beliefs or anything else.

        Thats just a fact, folks.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        GM would have gone into a real bankruptcy

        That wasn’t exactly what one would call a fake bankruptcy.

        And again, the question that I always pose to folks like yourself, who inevitably fail to answer it: Name those lenders who were prepared to provide the DIP funds.

        Here’s a hint: There weren’t any. Without government help, GM would have liquidated because the credit markets would have not funded it. The reason that the government jumped in was because it was the only party willing to fund it.

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        The reason that the government jumped in was because it was the only party willing to fund it.

        Sorta like Solyndra I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      Not me. I was opposed to the bailout then. I think the bankruptcies should have been allowed to run their ordinary course.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Yes, Ford took Dept. of Energy loans and other government funds, but this survey was looking at people’s opinions, not facts.

    I love this disclaimer, definitely snicker worthy. Perception is everything. Now if you excuse me, I have to go pay my mortgage with Chase bank. Thankfully I work at Tesla and have a job where I can pay the bills ;-)

    • 0 avatar

      Why snicker worthy? It needed to be said but I didn’t want the comment thread to get bogged down discussing Ford’s helping itself to government funds. Like I said, it’s about consumer perceptions, not necessarily reality.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Ronnie you mistake my snicker. I’m just feeling rather down about how moronic the electorate is in this country and the non-issues they latch on to. As you noted, the questions are carefully scripted to gain a response, push poll comes to mind when I read these questions.

        The question that went unasked, “if you knew that Ford had received undisclosed government assistance during the economic crisis, at the same time as GM and Chrysler, how likely would you consider a Ford product? More likely, less, likely, etc. etc.”

        That would be the real telling point. My snickers were not directed at you – but at the general public and how the politico and corporate America play them like finely tuned fiddles.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        It’s snicker-worthy because, well, it’s a survey of people’s opinions irrespective of things like, well, truth, accuracy or context. Can the second question be “When did you stop beating your wife?”

        I find it funny, too, and more than a little hypocritical on the part of both the pollsters, Ford and certain of the respondents. But then, we’re talking about a movement that’s typified by a person holding up a placard that reads “Get your government hands off my Medicare”, so I suppose populist hypocrisy is de rigueur.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        Ford took advantage of some cheap government loans. So what? That doesn’t even compare.

        If auto companies were everyday people like those of us who comment here, it’s like Chrysler and GM each won a $100 million Powerball lottery (on a ticket that someone gave to them as a gift) and Ford paid $2 to win $15 on a scratch ticket. Yeah, they’re both “lottery winners”, but you’d have to be a dope not to see the difference.

      • 0 avatar

        “…but you’d have to be a dope not to see the difference.”

        You’re exactly right. Sadly, there is no shortage of dopes among our increasingly pathetic and ignorant populace. (It often seems they’re the overwhelming majority.)

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        “moronic”?

        It is interesting how quickly dismissed half the US population becomes when the belief held by them doesn’t agree with some people.

        Some people think so highly of their intelligence they just can’t admit that half the nation may have a point or two, can they?

      • 0 avatar

        VanillaDude,

        While there’s probably no correlation to political affiliation, the simple mathematical truth is that half of everybody is indeed stupid. If average IQ is 100, half the population has IQs of less than 100.

        Somehow, though, the species has survived.

        On the other hand, the fact that there are indeed a lot of stupid people may explain Heinlein’s quote about progress and bad luck.

        Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
        This is known as “bad luck.

      • 0 avatar
        dingram01

        “…the simple mathematical truth is that half of everybody is indeed stupid. If average IQ is 100, half the population has IQs of less than 100.”

        Perhaps, Ronnie, you didn’t mean this literally, but let’s look at the simple math. Say you have a population of four people, three of which have an IQ of 110, and only one of which is 75. Add all the scores together and divide by four to get your average.

        The average still comes out to 101.25. This illustration of the influence of outliers on the outcome of averages is nothing new.

      • 0 avatar
        mdensch

        If you can find a car company (or any major corporation) anywhere on the planet that has never received any funds from any unit of government for any purpose, let us all know.

        The distinction here is that this was a specific bailout of two failing businesses with the federal government propping up those two corporations and walking them through a restructuring and the U.S. government still owns substantial interests in those two companies. Receiving government loans or loan guarantees for targeted purposes which are also available to any peer corporations which qualify for said loans is an entirely different situation.

        Perhaps government shouldn’t be involved in such loan programs but they aren’t bailouts.

    • 0 avatar
      Aqua225

      Yeah, but perception is that GM & Chrysler shafted their investors to protect their overpriced union workers, who have it nicer than many people in the current economy.

      Ford did not — Mulally played the game with perfect precision and kept the government out of his world, and still got the money. I don’t call that a failure, at least IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      You don’t recognize the difference between subsidized loans and a massive infusion of public funds coupled with abrogation of creditor priorities established by bankruptcy law as at least one order of magnitude difference?

      The Solyndra folks went bankrupt. They took, among other things, a subsidized government loan (which may or may not have been ill-advised). So far as I know, their workers are not getting bailed out, their other creditors are not seeing their place in line get re-arranged and there is no massive infusion of public equity money to keep these guys running.

      That, I think, is the difference.

      As some of the other commenters posted, the real question is what will happen to GM 4 or 5 years from now. Has there been a sufficient change in their corporate culture? Will they be able to access the private credit markets, with potential lenders knowing what happened to secured creditors in the GM bankruptcy? Those are pretty big questions.

      Just looking from the outside, it looks to me like Chrysler is doing a much better job of “cleaning up its act” with respect to product, at least, than GM. The new Grand Cherokee is getting lots of praise, as is the re-vamped Sebring (200) and 300. And, it appears that Fiat’s management really is the “new guys in town” and unlike the private equity bunch, they seem to know something about making and selling cars.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    To say that “the questions were worded to provoke a response” seems like vastly underselling it, considering that the information in the questions themselves is actually misleading. I think this is what they in the political biz call a “push poll”: e.g., “Do Rick Perry’s evangelical psychosis and 78 IQ make you less likely to vote for him in the primary election?”, or “Do you question Barack Hussein Obama’s loyalty to this country because he’s a socialist Muslim from Kenya?”

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty much what I was going to say. Whoever conducted this poll was interested in biasing the responses. The percentages are inflated, perhaps many times over.

      • 0 avatar

        Like I said, it was a political poll of likely voters, not market research. Still, even if the figures are inflated, they probably, as the McDaniel ad does, demonstrate that it is a sentiment that does affect some purchase decisions.

        As polling organizations go, I believe that Rasmussen isn’t known as right leaning, so if the questions were provocatively worded, I think that was more to get a response than out of ideological bias.

      • 0 avatar

        They’re definitely right-leaning. They were trying to provoke a specific response, and got it. They’re not trying to objectively report public opinion, but to influence public opinion.

        It’s polls that like this one (and others they conduct, now that I look a little more closely) that lead people to distrust all surveys and statistics. This makes the task much harder for people like myself who conduct legitimate surveys.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Michael, on your last point, Rasmussen has historically been seen as right-leaning (and gotten right-leaning results): http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/rasmussen-polls-were-biased-and-inaccurate-quinnipiac-surveyusa-performed-strongly/

        That doesn’t detract from Ronnie’s main point here, which I agree with: Ford has a marketing angle here that they can exploit. Whether or not it’s accurate is as irrelevant as whether Lucky Strikes were in fact uniquely “toasted”. But the size of the advantage is what the Rasmussen poll purports to show, and as per my initial post, I think that the poll is worded in such a way as to show a much more extreme result than a more neutral poll would.

      • 0 avatar
        steeringwithmyknees

        +1, Michael…

        What you said goes along with my opinion that high schools need to teach some form of media literacy course. That course should have a unit that covers “research” reported in the media and spread by word of mouth. If I had a dollar for every time i hear “humans only use 1/3 of their potential brain power”, I’d be driving a German car.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I have a relative who’s into the whole anti-bailout thing.

    He works in the computer industry, but thinks the auto bailouts were immoral. He believes the whole situation was a way buy votes from the UAW, etc.

    He plainly told me he would never buy another GM or Chrysler vehicle again (he’s had several Chrysler minivans in the past), due to the bailouts.

    In a way, it’s shame Ford didn’t support the other two during the bailout hearings. They would have had excellent advertising material to work with now. Very few people know or care about the DOE loans, and even with careful explanation, they still wouldn’t care.

    Even if GM and Chrysler were to become the best car producers in the world, and pay back the bailout monies sevenfold, there will be people like my relative who won’t consider them because of the bailouts.

    FoMoCo has got to be working on a way to tap into that anger. I think the TV ad we discussed last week is the first of many more to come. I can’t imagine NOT getting that low hanging fruit…

    • 0 avatar

      How many GM or Chrysler cars did your relative buy in the decade before the bailouts? How many Fords has he bought since?

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        IIRC, (because we’re going back 30+ years) 2 Fords, 2 GMs, 5 Mopars, 2 Hondas and 1 Nissan. Currently owns the one Honda and the Nissan. The Nissan is a 2008(?) and the Honda was purchased in 2009. I remember that clearly, as we got our 2009 Pontiac at roughly the same time they got their Honda.

        He’s owned a lot of Mopars, compared to everyone else in our family. There was a period of time when his kids were young (80′s-90′s) he was leasing the minivans one after the other.

        Oh, and all of the Mopars he’s owned, were all after the 1979 bailout. He didn’t buy his first new car until 1980.

        EDIT: I misread your reply. In the decade before the bailout, 2 Mopars, the Honda and the Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      He works in the computer industry

      Ask him who provides R&D funds for that stuff and who jumpstarted the internet and how awesome things would have been if we were still stuck with GEnie, CompuServe and the like.

      Or, heck, who bankrolled UNIVAC, ENIAC and the like.

      It’s funny how it’s only “teh evil socializm” when it’s socialism for things someone doesn’t like. I never hear clamouring about “socialized military” and how the private sector could do so much better.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Yes, I mentioned the internet and DARPA and such.

        That set him off.

        I’ve left it alone since then. Picking your battles and etc…

      • 0 avatar

        You know, if the government restricted itself to funding things like DARPA (which lefties like you hate because it makes weapons) and Lawrence Livermore Labs, it wouldn’t be a problem.

        But actually, the examples you cite, CompuServe and the like, were long after the gov’t investment was done and the fact that we have better service than the Genies and CompuSteals in the old days has much more to do with competition and the market than with the not very invisible hand of government.

        Elizabeth Warren is wrong. What makes a business successful is not the roads, the educated employees, and the police protection (all of which, in the US, btw, are funded locally, not by the federal gov’t). You can have two businesses that are otherwise identical but one, the one with the better idea, is successful. Guys like you and Warren (safe in her $350K/yr sinecure at Harvard Law) want to tax that success. On what moral basis should the successful person be taxed more? They had no more benefits than the unsuccessful widget maker next door – the same roads, schools, courts etc.

        Lefties want to confuse the benefits of a civil society and the rule of law, necessary ingredients for commerce, with their own fetish for huge government.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        So here we go again.
        Let’s keep insulting everyone who doesn’t agree that Ford is unworthy of this kind of attention.

      • 0 avatar
        steeringwithmyknees

        even if most of the funding for the roads, education and police is local, it is guided by research (or should be) that is funded mostly by the feds. In education, the feds also play a giant role in teacher preparation, the whole of higher education (especially access to it for most people via student loans) and attempting to make education available to minorities, people with disabilities, and for “children of promise without the necessary means for a necessary means for a higher education’.

      • 0 avatar
        gogogodzilla

        Al Gore invented teh interwebz!

        :-P

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        You know, if the government restricted itself to funding things like DARPA (which lefties like you hate because it makes weapons) and Lawrence Livermore Labs, it wouldn’t be a problem.

        Ok, so what you mean is, if government restricted itself to stuff the Ronnie Schrieber approves of, everything would be just fine in your book? So where do you draw the line on “It’s ok, and part of a social contract I feel is valuable” versus “It’s nanny-statism”?

        Because from where I stand, if the metric is “It’s what I think is ok” then your moral argument goes right out the window.

        But actually, the examples you cite, CompuServe and the like, were long after the gov’t investment was done and the fact that we have better service than the Genies and CompuSteals in the old days has much more to do with competition and the market than with the not very invisible hand of government.

        What, CompuSteals? Aren’t they a business just trying to make a buck? How is that “stealing”? Isn’t it moral, what they were doing?

        Anyway, the point is that, had we not had government take the iniative to incubate the technology through it’s unprofitable period, and if the founding design work and initial use of the system by academia (which you disrespect, if not outright despise, except when they agree with you), we wouldn’t have something that has proven to be a massive wealth creator and a great tool for furthering social betterment.

        By your reasoning, it should have been left to private business, except that private business would never have developed the internet as we see it. It would have been too uncontrolled, too unprofitable, too open, and the ROI period far, far too long. We would have gotten, well, CompuServe/GEnie/Prodigy/AOL, or the dragged-kicking-and-screaming-into-openness that typified cellular networking for decades.

        It’s pretty rich to see people complaining about green technology and such when government has a long history of socializing R&D.

        Elizabeth Warren is wrong.

        No, she’s right. You just totally missed the point of her argument because it doesn’t jive with your own worldview. Of course, by the metric of your first paragraph, you actually do agree with her, but because the Blue Team is putting forth her argument you can’t handle the cognitive dissonance.

        What makes a business successful is not the roads, the educated employees, and the police protection (all of which, in the US, btw, are funded locally, not by the federal gov’t). You can have two businesses that are otherwise identical but one, the one with the better idea, is successful. Guys like you and Warren (safe in her $350K/yr sinecure at Harvard Law) want to tax that success.

        This is your WHOOOOSH moment, where Warren’s point goes right over your head.

        The point isn’t that two businesses would success equally or not, it’s that neither would have had a snowball’s chance in hell if roads, an educated workforce, rule of law and a backstopped currency, etc, didn’t exist. They would have had to build, support and defend all this infrastructure and, more importantly, they’d probably be squashed by established players who could take what they wanted because there’s no property rights to stop them.

        Warren’s point is that no one would succeed except the already-successful, and that by and large the already successful have become so because they participate in a social contract that allows them to.

        On what moral basis should the successful person be taxed more? They had no more benefits than the unsuccessful widget maker next door – the same roads, schools, courts etc.

        This is your second WHOOOSH moment. The more successful you are, the more you leverage the infrastructure to support that success. That’s why you should pay more to be part of that contract. Or do you really think that you get the same benefit from a civil society as a multi-billion dollar corporation does?

        Lefties want to confuse the benefits of a civil society and the rule of law, necessary ingredients for commerce, with their own fetish for huge government.

        And right-wingers benefit quite handsomely from the social contract—unless they’re hermit-on-the-hill types—and yet hypocritically argue against it’s very existence when asked to pay their fair share.

        Have you ever really looked at a dollar bill? Have you noticed that it’s issued by the very government you claim to despise, and that the only reason your money has any value whatsoever (and that you’re not trading beaver pelts for food) is because they backstop it. That’s why the government has a moral right to your money: because you seem to think you have a moral right to it’s services.

        Don’t like it? Feel free to go somewhere that you don’t benefit from those services, like some shanty in the Ozarks or what-have-you. But by virtue of living in a large metropolitan environment you’re agreeing to the idea that, yes, government has a moral right to your money in order to maintain that civil society.

    • 0 avatar
      dmw

      The minivans is an interesting point of contrast. Didn’t Chryler’s first government baillout bring us the glorious minivan, via the K-car, which your relative views as the incontrovertable proof of the independent American spirit?

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @dmw: I never mentioned to him the fact that he owned (IIRC) three Chrysler minivans that came into existence directly due to the actions of the Carter administration (another one which he disliked).

        I don’t think he even realized that fact, he’s really not much of a “car guy”. Of course, a lot of “car guys” really don’t know how the business of car making is done, either.

        He’s not an idiot, though. But I don’t think that association occurred to him at all…

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The 1980 bailout of Chrysler was a different beast than the recent one.

        If I recall correctly, the federal government didn’t directly give any money to Chrysler in 1980. Given that Chrysler was basically bankrupt by 1980, no rational financial institution would lend it any money.

        The government therefore agreed to guarantee the loans of any financial institution that would lend money to Chrysler, thus enabling it to stay in business until the K-cars debuted in the fall of 1980.

        In exchange for these federal guarantees, the UAW and suppliers agreed to make major concessions and Lee Iacocca agreed to work for $1 per year until the company turned a profit. There was also massive bloodletting as middle managers were cut, plants were closed (and there wasn’t a UAW Jobs Bank in those days) and dealers simply went out of business.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        “Lefties want to confuse the benefits of a civil society and the rule of law, necessary ingredients for commerce, with their own fetish for huge government.”

        Ronnie, the Republicans just as guilty of making government as big and ineffective as possible. The Reagan era of “small government” pretty much died with Reagan. Let it go.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    Why don’t they just buy the best car in its class, oops that’s too smart. We are soooo dumb, if I wanted the spectacular Jeep Cherokee vs. the marketing phenom Explorer, you think the car drives worse or is less comfortable because the gov’t bailed Chrysler out? Maybe mytouch wouldn’t be such a crapshot (in the Explorer at least) if the gov’t had given Ford some development money. so tired of the gov’t is always bad if it isn’t doing what (I) think it should be doing sentiment.

    Morons.

    • 0 avatar

      Talk is cheap. When you consider how many Jews were buying Mercedes by the 1970s, less than a generation after WW2, it’s clear that in the end people buy whatever they like, no matter what they might think (or say they think) about the company that manufactured it.

      • 0 avatar

        Michael, late ’70s. In the early ’70s Jews hardly drove Fords, let alone German cars. Once wealthy Jews started driving Lincolns, a Mercedes wasn’t going to raise eyebrows much higher.

        I know a family. The patriarch recently passed away. He was a German Jew who survived the Holocaust. He was also a successful builder of residential properties and his three sons are all successful professionals and live in big footprint homes on my block. All three sons or their wives have usually had M-Bs since I’ve known them. The Israeli wife of one drives an E-Class, another has a C-Class and the one who’s a car buff (his daily driver is an Aston Martin Vantage) got his wife a Gelandewagen.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’d really be interested in interviewing some of the 4% that said “more likely”.

    Well, Ford has $100 billion in debt and GM has $12 billion (the rest wiped out in the bailout/bankruptcy). All things being equal (and they never are) GM has about $2500 more to spend on each car. Ford needs that $2500 to pay interest and principle on its huge debt.

    • 0 avatar

      Source of your numbers? Best I can find in a quick search is:

      “Ford ended 2010 with about $19.1 billion in debt in its automotive operations and about $20.5 billion in cash. It had interest expenses of about $1.8 billion in 2010.”

      If the $100b includes Ford credit paper, it doesn’t count. That money is for car loans, and the interest on the car owner loans should more than pay for the interest on the debt.

    • 0 avatar
      Britspeak

      Good point… and some might even find it patriotic to support the government via purchases of ‘our’ products. I can imagine a few people seeing GM as even more of a home team now. A little twisted perhaps, but interesting about that 4%.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford borrowed about $26B just before the credit markets froze. They’ve been paying it down in multibillion dollar chunks. If I’m not mistaken, they’ve paid back more than half of what they borrowed.

      It’s clear that Mullaly’s strategy involves paying down Ford’s debt as quickly as possible.

      From Bloomberg last month:

      Ford Motor Co. paid off $1.8 billion in debt Thursday, part of a plan to lower its total debt to $10 billion by mid-decade.

      Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth announced the action earlier this week at an investor presentation in Frankfurt, Germany. Ford spokesman Todd Nissen confirmed that the payment was made Thursday. Ford’s total debt now stands at $12.2 billion, down from $33.6 billion at the end of 2009.

      The payment is the latest in a string of debt reduction actions at Ford. The company paid down $2.6 billion in debt in the second quarter and $2.5 billion in the first quarter.

      Booth said Ford plans to lower its total debt to $10 billion by mid-decade. That will save the company millions in interest payments and also could help the company return to investment-grade status. Ford lost its investment-grade credit rating in 2005, when it was deeply in debt.

  • avatar
    Britspeak

    I pretty mush figured out that a significant percentage of our population has a fuzy understanding of the term ‘bailout’. This after I saw my first dozen ‘Obama = Socialist Devil’ bumperstickers(or words to that affect) plastered on the back of new Dodge, Chevy, etc, pickup trucks.

    It’s funny of course, but even more so regarding Chrysler products, as this marks the second time socialist intervention has inabled the very vehicle they’re driving.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    How many of these anti-bailout folks are financing their FORD’s from bailed out financial instutions???? OMG, I need to run out and close my Lehman Brothers accounts….NOT. Have we (Americans) become that SIMPLE???

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This is going to sound arrogant, but the answer is “Yes”.

      One of the reasons most western nations are set up as some kind of republic instead of a direct democracy is because you need some kind of buffer to prevent populism from running rampant.

      If you didn’t, you’d end up with something like California, but on a national scale, where paralysis and entitlement rule because there’s no incentive or ability to representative government to act and enforce short-term suffering for long-term gain.

      Individual people are, generally speaking, charitable, helpful and well-intentioned. In groups we suck.

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    Why all of the speculation on who paid for the survey? It’s just more FoMoCo marketing “information”. So good see TTAC doing its part keeping this story churning in the media, helping to spread Ford’s bogus “No Bailout” leitmotif and even giving it some third party cred. Ford+GOP=Victory in 2012!

  • avatar
    tparkit

    I’m in the “Hell NO!” camp. But it’s not the bailouts per se (though that is bad enough), it’s that Chrysler was stolen from the bondholders and both companies were given to the UAW in exchange for political support.

    It doesn’t stop there. For instance, the chances I’d knowingly buy a product from greenscamming, collectivist, ward-of-the-state General Electric is absolute zero.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      it’s that Chrysler was stolen from the bondholders and both companies were given to the UAW in exchange for political support.

      If what happened to the bondholders qualifies as “stolen”, I hope someone robs me, because I’d end up with more money than the stolen goods were worth.

      For instance, the chances I’d knowingly buy a product from greenscamming, collectivist, ward-of-the-state General Electric is absolute zero.

      Considering how massively horizontal GE is, you probably already have bought something from them. Of course, you probably only recently decided to hate them because they became a whipping boy of the Right, despite their benefiting from government largesse from both parties for a century. When they start donating to Republican coffers again I’m sure your tune will change.

      It’s important to understand that big companies always donate to the likely winner. In 2008, that was patently, obviously, the Democrats, but in prior years it’s swung both ways. Only very stridently partisan organizations (Churches and certain energy companies go R, Unions go D) run contrary to the trend, but mostly the big money goes to the winner-to-be. The money behind politics is surprisingly non-partisan.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        No, big companies donate to all top political candidates, because not doing so will come back to haunt them eventually. Somebody may have lost today’s election, but you never know what future race that somebody will win next year. When you are buying influence, it pays to spread the wealth around and the smart play is to make everyone think you are their friend. Nobody likes fair weather friends, so we make sure to act friendly all the time. Those who favor our positions and/or are likely to win get more money, obviously, but the other guy gets something substantial too.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    They ask people a series of questions with 5 possible answers, and only 5 possible answers.

    The poll is simple. Assuming the public is equally simple is a logical fallacy.

    • 0 avatar
      jhott997

      Rassmussen is a respected poll taker. His statistics are highly regarded. He is NOT biased either way contray to claims by Karesh above.

      It’s kind of fun to read people attack the poll and the responders to the poll and ignore what the poll is asking and what the poll says…….

      • 0 avatar

        A respectable researcher would not have worded the questions this way. Simple as that. I’d wonder about the agenda of those who have found the firm “respectable.” There are always those who will claim that intentionally biased results are not biased because they like these results.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        There are always those who will claim that intentionally biased results are not biased because they like these results.

        Pretty much. Republicans like Rasmussen polls. Not surprising, really.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “Assuming the public is equally simple is a logical fallacy.”

      One does not have to rely on the relationship between a poll and it’s questions to correctly arrive at the conclusion that “the public” is simple.

  • avatar
    SilverHawk

    Despite the fact that we all know people who are very political, the average Americans’ purchasing decisions are based on their immediate needs, and economic means. It would be very unusual for a large segment of our population to make purchases based on political beliefs. Having said that, there is now a group of people out there that may favor Ford, for at least the short term, which could result in some extra sales this year and into next year. But as always, it will be Ford’s ability to satisfy the customer that will determine their success.

  • avatar
    jj99

    More interesting questions:

    How many people avoid Detroit all together because lf large scale tax payer money flowing into the pockets of Detroit auto makers ( all 3 ), the UAW, and thousands of Detroit suppliers.

    The government tried to mitigate this problem by giving a few dollars to several Asian makers, but I don’t think this trick worked.

  • avatar
    jhott997

    I find it remarkably ironic that some commenters on this site and so blinded by their prejudices that they don’t see their prejudices.
    Can’t you folks recognize the difference between tax subsidizes, Treasury subsidized loan guarantees, taxpayer funded low interest loans and Executive branch sponsored “bankruptcy” where the Executive branch uses money legislatively allocated for illiquid banks and instead acts as “debtor in possession financier. Instead of liquidating said corporations to pay creditors in the legal way, debt is wiped out and assets are given to the Treasury and a labor union.
    There is a difference.

    And spare me the song and dance about “how it would have been horrible, a conflagration in fact, if GM and Chrysler were liquidated”. That’s BS and we all know it.

    People/consumers/customers are pissed at GM and Chrysler and the “government” and they have a right to be and a reason to be.

    Either way, GM is doomed and in 10 years we will look back on all this say: Sure was better to have a relatively “soft landing” than “crash”…….

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      On wall street, all the above are the same. Tax payer money flowing into Detroit automakers. Many ways to rename the same thing.

      • 0 avatar
        jhott997

        It’s not the same thing and “wall street” does discriminate the difference. But since we are not interested in the truth here anymore I will concede the point.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      That’s BS and we all know it.

      Sure, liquidating in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression, and it all would have gone swimmingly.

      Nice try. But, no.

      • 0 avatar
        jhott997

        “Nice try. But, no.”

        So do tell, what would be different today?

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        13.5% unemployment vs. 9%.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        Decimated supply base. Surviving OEM’s not able to produce because ofmissing parts due to suppliers quickly going under. A great example of this risk was amply demonstrated by the japanese tsunami in which a few key suppliers being wiped out brought production to a halt (even in the US, several OEMs, Ford included, had to restrict certain features too.) The economic tsunami caused by lengthly insolvency-driven shut-downs at CC and GM would have taken-down Ford and numerous transplants.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Maybe the real reason people are more likely to buy a Ford instead of a GM or a Chrysler is because…with few exceptions, it makes superior products.

    Unless someone is going to claim that a Caliber is better than a Focus, or an Impala is better than a Taurus. Which should certainly be entertaining, if nothing else.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    So Obama administration fires a GM CEO for saying what you guys in the media are saying, do they get fired too? Does he get his job back?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    It’s good thing all those anti-bailout buyers don’t know that they’re buying cars from a company started by maybe the most socialist car manufacturer ever ;)

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Politics and political ideology. Phooey on it all! To buy a car solely because of those two things is goofy in my book, rather than buying a car based on reliability stats, previous ownership or personal preference. Yeah, yeah, I know, political ideology is personal preference, too, but just the same, that’s unwise to me, but I’m not political, either.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Nineteen percent of those questioned responded “yes” to the question: Have you or anyone in your family bought a car from Ford because it didn’t take a government bailout?

    That’s pretty impressive, when you realize that Ford’s YTD market share was only 16.5%. It’s even more impressive, when you realize that Ford’s fleet sales run at about 30% of its total sales, which means that only 11% of vehicles sold in the US this year went to retail buyers of Ford products.

    By this measure, about 150% of Ford’s retail buyers this year bought a Ford because of the bailout. That must be some kind of miracle.

    It’s especially impressive when you figure that of the three Detroit companies, Ford is the only one whose market share didn’t increase. Funny how that could have happened, given the 150% figure above.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Maybe several of the respondents knew the same people that bought a Ford… Of course this not the sole reason, and maybe not even the major one, but double-counting can skew data…

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Maybe several of the respondents knew the same people that bought a Ford

        I suspect that the 19% figure is wrong or taken out of context. For example, if the 19% included only those who bought or claimed to have known someone who bought a Ford, then that figure would be far lower than 19% of the total number of respondents, since the vast majority of us obviously didn’t buy a Ford, and many of us who didn’t also probably don’t know anyone else who did.

        In any case, it can’t possibly be true that 19% of respondents either bought a Ford or know someone who did because of the bailout. That dog just don’t hunt.

    • 0 avatar
      nuvista

      “In any case, it can’t possibly be true that 19% of respondents either bought a Ford or know someone who did because of the bailout.”

      Correct on the first part, but the second part is tricky … perhaps deliberately so.

      Many people will misinterpret the poll results to mean that 19% of the population bought Fords because they disapprove of the GM and Chrysler bailouts. As you pointed out, that cannot be correct because Ford only has 16.5% market share.

      The trick is that each respondent is speaking, not just about himself, but about his entire family. Let’s say the respondents have an average of 10 adults in their extended families … so we include aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, etc. If only one family member did the deed, then the 19% should be divided by 10; i.e., only 1.9% of the population bought a Ford because they oppose the bailouts.

      There are legitimate reasons for asking about “you or a member of your family.” For example, if you want to gauge how many families have been affected by lay-offs. I’m not so sure there’s a good reason for the pollster to do so in this case.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        True, and I can see how the numbers can be (and probably are designed so) confusing.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        According to the link provided by Mr. Schrieber, the question was: “Have You or Anyone in Family Bought Car from Ford Because Didn’t Take Government Bailout?”

        I would have expected that question to have been answered by respondents who answered in the affirmative to a different question that preceded it, namely (the poorly worded): “Have You or Anyone in Family Bought Car from Ford since (some date in) 2009?”

        In other words, most respondents will not have bought a Ford in the last 2+ years, nor would they have a family member who did, so they would have skipped the question entirely. That would mean that the 19% figure would be a subset of the respondent pool, not the entire pool.

        Of course, if that question wasn’t posed, then the survey was extremely sloppy, since the 19% figure is impossible, even under the best of circumstances. But as noted by some others here, Rasmussen is known for conducting push polls for the right.

        If it turns out that something close to 19% of retail Ford buyers chose Ford because of their bailout perceptions, then that would mean that about 2-3% of the car buying population made a decision on that basis. That is obviously a tiny percentage of the country, and not reflective of much of anything.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I’m amazed so many people are angry with polling results like this. Isn’t it a GOOD thing people don’t like to see their tax dollars given to large corporations? Shouldn’t this be an easy one for the both the Left and the Right to agree on?

    I would be far more worried about a society that didn’t develop a negative backlash against a company that got such a sweetheart deal at the taxpayers’ expense. I’m not some anarchist that believes in zero government, I understand the government supports industries in certain ways, but can’t we all be intellectually honest and say that what occurred with the auto bailouts was an EXTREME action by the government? How many other corporations do you know of where the Federal Government is the largest shareholder?

    If anything, I’m actually surprised the results were as tame as they were. From anecdotes I’ve witnessed, it’s definitely a real phenomenon that is going to stick around for quite some time. Ford should at least get something out of this, and any company would be foolish not to take advantage of such a widespread sentiment to boost their sales.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Yup Crosley, I agree with your sentiment. Instead of using the poll results, however skewed, as a springboard for further examination of the underlying issues here, a ton of commenters seem to go straight to the “Red team, Blue team” rhetoric fed to them by our political system.

      The automaker bailouts are at the surface of a much deeper issue- apparently 51% of respondents to the poll sense something wrong but don’t know what or why. Quite a few of those people will think long enough to figure it out. The other 49% will dismiss them to avoid their own bout with cognitive dissonance. Now, which half of America is stupid?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I’m amazed so many people are angry with polling results like this.

      Nobody’s angry. But as noted, the poll looks bogus, on a variety of levels.

      As noted by another poster above, some of you folks need to take a class or six in understanding media. It makes you look gullible to say the things that you have.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Not that reality matters very much in this context, but the only people I know who have bought a car in the last 3 years have bought Hyundai. May I suggest that if one wants a real story, it’s Hyundai’s sales figures, not Rasmussen polls and the phony anti-bailout sentiment.

  • avatar
    CharlesKrome

    Am I misreading things or was that poll actually published in July of 2009? All you have to do is look at this year’s sales numbers–which show Ford growing sales at a much slower rate than either Chrysler or GM–to see the what buyers “really” think about this stuff.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Incidentally, the best part of this whole thing is the comments section below the linked news story:

    “Helen Raines · United States Army
    I bought a Mitsubishi. Only the second foreign car I’ve ever owned. I will never buy American as long as the UAW holds sway.
    Reply · 4 · Like · Follow Post · Sunday at 1:27pm

    Cliff Harms
    Mitsubish In Normal Il has been UAW since 1989. http://www.mitsubishimanufacturing.com/about/history/index.asp
    Reply · 1 · Like · Sunday at 3:03pm

    Helen Raines · United States Army
    Hell, if I had known that, I wouldn’t have bought Mitsubishi, either. To hell with UAW.
    Reply · 1 · Like · Sunday at 3:41pm”

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      There’s a car I see around town—a first-generation Ford Fusion—with a “CAW/Save Jobs/Buy Domestic” license plate clipframe. I do wonder if the owner ever noticed the “3″ at the start the VIN number?

      This kind of thing is depressingly common on both sides of the fence: you have people who “hate the UAW” but can’t really articulate why, other than because it’s what the “red team” says they should do, and people who want to “support your own” without knowing anything about global supply chains and production

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      I wonder if Helen from the US Army knows who built all those Zeros that killed so many US Army soldiers and US Navy seamen in the Pacific theater many years ago.

      Or maybe she just liked the color of her Eclipse.


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