Tipping Point: 60% of American Consumers Predict Bankruptcy for Detroit

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
tipping point 60 of american consumers predict bankruptcy for detroit

My colleague is hard at work debunking a GM-funded poll. It’s the latest weapon girding The General’s belt as it bolsters its claim on bailout billions. As several of TTAC’s Best and Brightest have already pointed-out, Motown’s strategy in this bailout push has been an enormous mistake. By publicly lobbying for taxpayers’ funds– without a concomittant PR campaign explaining their survival strategy– The General and the not-so-dynamic duo are advertising their incipient insolvency. In other words, if GM CEO Rick Wagoner’s right and “no one buys a car from a bankrupt car maker,” isn’t it also true, Mr. Wagoner, that only a slightly larger percentage of American consumer will buy a car from a carmaker that’s ABOUT to go bankrupt? To wit: “Do you believe that America’s automakers will face bankruptcy without government loans?” the Peter Hart poll asks. Sixty percent say yes, 22 percent say no and 18 percent don’t know. So 78 percent of respondents have a damn good reason NOT to buy an American automakers’ products. So why NOT file Chapter 11?

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4 of 21 comments
  • Ttilley Ttilley on Nov 14, 2008
    BTW… where the hell did they conduct this poll - Dearborn? (Check the vehicle ownership stats on Page 5) Chevy alone outnumbers Toyota, no Scion owners...doesn't match actual buying patterns. Anyway, their questions related to the Not So Big 3 "going out of business". Chapter 11 doesn't mean "going out of business". Further, questions about whether one "favors" a "bailout" seem rather poor. I've already posted that I favor a bailout only if (necessary but not sufficient) the existing management is shown the door (I'll settle for Red Ink Rick and every single one of his direct reports). I'm coming to the view of the Guest BK Attorney that C11 should be another bailout condition. So do I favor a bailout? "Yes"...but not on the terms Red Ink Rick is proposing.

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Nov 14, 2008

    I won't buy a Desperate-3 car regardless. Been burned too many times.

  • Dr. No Dr. No on Nov 15, 2008

    The fact is, GM has made some positive strides. The fact is GM has a top flight Silverado, Malibu, Corvette, and others. But I agree Wagoner needs to go NOW, along with his other incompetent minions to fix the rest of the line-up and prune the General's fruit tree. Sadly, it's not been enough to change the perception. Perception is reality. TTAC has created it own fair share of the perception. Breaking: It's Death Watch 1xxx!! I say this: Bankruptcy will kill GM. Period. If there are no loans from U.S. Government for GM, the stock market will sink. And we'll have Depression II, or something close to it. No advertising. Hmmmm.... Be careful what you wish for. You could be next.

  • Fallout11 Fallout11 on Nov 17, 2008
    So why NOT file Chapter 11? Because that would mean actually making necessary changes in the way they operate. Something that, with few exceptions (Ford), hasn't happened in 30 years.