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Auto Company Bailouts Bad Idea Consumers Say

Latest opinion study mirrors earlier ones showing a clear public distaste for taxpayer-financed loans.

by on Jun.10, 2009

President George W. Bush meeting with his advisers in the Oval Office.

This is a bad place for an automotive assembly line.

Americans might love President Obama, as his high popularity ratings show, but they don’t think much of government intervention in the auto business that began under the extremely unpopular Bush administration, which Obama continued and expanded. This comes from a new study by auto consultancy AutoPacific that says more than half of consumers think auto company bailouts were a bad idea. Whether the current administration suffers the same precipitous decline in popularity that saw Bush leave office with the lowest ratings in history remains to be seen.

Fully 81% of respondents agreed that the faster the government gets out of the auto business, the better.

The online survey of more than 900 U.S. consumers was conducted last week following the filing by General Motors for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Highlights include:

  • 48% disagree that having the government in charge of General Motors and Chrysler will result in more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.
  • 54% disagree that having the government in charge of General Motors and Chrysler will result in much cleaner cars and trucks.
  • 66% disagree that having the government in charge of General Motors and Chrysler will result in cars and trucks Americans want to buy.
  • 54% of respondents believe that General Motors should have been allowed to fail, while 58% believe that Chrysler should have been allowed to fail. (more…)