Consumers Not Confident GM, Chrysler Will Survive

Memo to General Motors and Chrysler: Don’t try featuring a long-term warranty as a key selling point for your vast inventory of vehicles. The trouble is, lots of consumers don’t expect you to be around all that long.

In Rasmussen Reports polling this week, respondents were asked how likely they think it is that GM or Chrysler will go out of business “over the next few years.” Fifteen percent said “very likely” and 42 percent “somewhat likely;” 32 percent said “not very likely” and 6 percent “not at all likely.” Sixty percent of male respondents said it’s at least somewhat likely that GM or Chrysler will go under in the next few years. So did 54 percent of female respondents.

Moreover, it’s not as if most consumers are aghast at the prospect of a world without GM or Chrysler (or both). Another part of the survey asked respondents to say which would be better for the economy: letting such companies fail or keeping them in business via federal subsidies? A plurality (44 percent) said it would be better to let them fail, while just 33 percent said it would be better to prop them up with subsidies. The rest weren’t sure either way.

Meanwhile, just 12 percent of the poll’s respondents think it’s very likely that “taxpayer-backed loans will eventually be repaid by the auto companies,” with another 29 percent saying it’s somewhat likely. A majority think it’s either somewhat unlikely (41 percent) or not at all likely (16 percent).