Despite the potential for major discounts, most Americans say they wouldn't buy a car from a bankrupt automaker, according to a new survey by Rasmussen Reports.
Fifty-one percent of 1,000 U.S. consumers polled said they wouldn't consider buying a car from one of the Big Three automakers if it filed for bankruptcy, compared to only 31 percent who said they would, the New Jersey-based polling firm reported this week.
Most respondents said they were worried about getting parts and service for cars bought from a bankrupt General Motors, Chrysler or Ford, the survey found. Others were concerned about the long-term validity of warrantees.
All three of the nation's top automakers have called on Congress to bailout the ailing U.S. auto industry, following years of plummeting sales and tough competition from overseas manufacturers. GM officials have said without government aid the company will run out of cash by the end of the year. Both Chrysler and Ford are struggling with similar financial problems, though officials at Ford say its cash flow is good through 2009.
The auto giants warn that without help they will be forced to lay off millions of workers, leading to a deeper economic crisis.
Last week, Senate Republicans shot down a $14 billion taxpayer-backed bailout package for GM and Chrysler, demanding more pay concessions from the United Auto Workers union. On Monday, White House officials said they're considering options for a bailout tied to the $700 billion financial market rescue package enacted earlier this year.
An earlier Rasmussen survey found a majority of Americans opposed taxpayer-funded loans for the Big Three.