Ford Gets a Leg Up for Not Resorting to Bailout

Ford Gets a Leg Up for Not Resorting to Bailout

By Jim Henry | June 22nd, 2009 @ 9:14 am

Ford could be gaining ground with consumers who appreciate the fact that Ford has not resorted to a federal bailout to keep itself in business.

That’s good news for Ford, although I keep saying Ford is wise not to crow too soon or too loud. Ford could some day find itself in the same boat as Chrysler and GM, unless sales improve.

In May, not a single brand in the U.S. market posted higher sales than the year-ago month, according to AutoData sales figures. That’s the first time in recent memory I can remember that happening. In recent months, somebody somewhere has always managed an increase, even if it was a tiny brand with an increase of less than 1 percent.

CNW Marketing Research reported today the results of surveys starting in December 2008. The results showed an increase in the percentage of consumers who indicated they were more favorably inclined to consider buying a Ford, because Ford didn’t ask for or receive federal assistance.

In December, that group made up 19.6 percent of the respondents. In February it was 27 percent, and in May 38 percent, CNW said.

In the most recent survey, about 9 percent of respondents said that “not accepting bailout funds” was the single most important reason for considering a Ford, according to CNW.

“A ‘Buy American’ attitude has been growing, but the primary beneficiary is likely to be Ford which is not only a U.S. brand, but not owned by the federal government. Consumers in large part — better than 80 percent — believe the bailout funds were misspent and government ownership is anathema to how business should be done,” CNW said, in its monthly Retail Automotive Summary.

“Time will likely heal these attitudes. When Chrysler was purchased by Daimler, a large portion of the WWII generation said they wouldn’t buy a car from a German company,” CNW said.

Chart: CNW Marketing Research

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