Back in July, automotive market research firm CNW asked consumers if they would be willing to buy from a bankrupt brand and they found that 80% would switch brands completely if what they were coveting came from a bankrupt automaker. This number held for Ford and GM while 91% were ready to hightail it if it were Chrysler. Sad news for Motown but as much as we’d love to support Americana, we’re very practical buyers these days—we hold our dollars tight—and with a purchase this big we have every right to stick with manufacturers who will be responsible for warranties and service.
So do I recommend buying a product from a bankrupt company? No. Do I recommend buying an American-made car? As long as the maker is not bankrupt, the question is more a matter of taste, needs and budget. Incentives have come close to offering pots of gold at the deal-closing rainbow, but it’s going to take more than thousands in cash back on a new Dodge Ram 1500 to get us buying stateside. It’s going to take confidence in the brand. After the Big Three finishes courting D.C., they’re going to have to get back to convincing us that giving them our hard-earned money is worthwhile.