Survey Shows Public Wary of Government Running Auto Companies


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More Than Half of Consumers Think Auto Companies' Bailouts were Bad Idea


TUSTIN, CA - June 11, 2009: A just-completed national survey shows American consumers are skeptical of the U.S. government’s involvement in the auto industry, with 81 percent of respondents agreeing that the faster the government gets out of the auto business, the better.

Following General Motors’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy announcement last week, automotive research and analysis firm AutoPacific conducted an online survey regarding government involvement in the auto industry. Highlights from this survey of more than 900 U.S. consumers include:

• Eighty-one percent of the respondents AGREE that the faster the government gets out of the auto business, the better.

• Forty-eight percent DISAGREE that having the government in charge of General Motors and Chrysler will result in more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.

• Fifty-four percent DISAGREE that having the government in charge of General Motors and Chrysler will result in much cleaner cars and trucks.

• Sixty-six percent DISAGREE that having the government in charge of General Motors and Chrysler will result in cars and trucks Americans want to buy.

• Fifty-four percent of respondents believe that General Motors should have been allowed to fail, while 58% believe that Chrysler should have been allowed to fail.

“Clearly Americans aren’t thrilled with government involvement in the U.S. auto companies,” said George Peterson, president of Tustin-based AutoPacific. “People believe the government should get out of the auto business as soon as possible. They do not have confidence that government involvement will bring the cars and trucks they want to buy to showrooms, nor that these vehicles will be more fuel efficient. And more than half think the companies should not have been saved by the government.”

Skepticism also surrounds Fiat’s takeover of Chrysler. American consumers do not see Fiat as Chrysler's white knight. Over 47% of respondents believe that Fiat cars will not sell well in the U.S. Almost 43% believe that, bankruptcy or not, and Fiat control or not, Chrysler will fail in the next five years. In contrast, only 19% believe that Fiat cars will be a welcome sight in U.S. dealerships, and only 13% say that Fiat cars will save Chrysler.

About AutoPacific
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm, founded in 1986, also conducts extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area. Additional information can be found on AutoPacific's website: www.autopacific.com.

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