As Americans struggling through a down economy, we have had little to do other than budget our spending and look for the light at the end of the tunnel. When we do pull ourselves out of this hole, how will we spend out money when these brighter days come?
One sector that makes this question very interesting is the automobile industry. As of early June, the American Government (i.e. American Taxpayers) owns roughly 70% of General Motors, which could lead to a historic shift in consumer purchasing objectives. Now that the majority of this manufacturing giant is owned by the public, does that make us any more likely to purchase one of their (our) vehicles?
Some would say of course. “How unAmerican would you be considered amongst your peers if you chose a foreign manufacturer, considering future taxes and financial stability are linked to GM’s success?” asks Bill Doyle, VP of Performance Research. Like minded individuals would agree that this sense of “new America” patriotism will offer the domestic auto industry a big bump as we rebound from rougher times.
Besides the possibility of increasing sales in the near future, the post recession customer base will offer GM a chance to re establish themselves as a viable option for the long term, and if they succeed, setting up the building blocks to create a new sense of brand loyalty. The determining factor will be GM’s ability to lure skeptical consumers to sign on the dotted line, by invoking an air of U.S. pride, and offering a product comparable to Asian competition.
If given the option of two similar vehicles, at equivalent prices, I would like to think that I would purchase the American made automobile based on both economic impact, and national pride, but it would be require some consideration. Why do we owe to these companies who took so much, yet how do we turn our backs on one of our own?
What would you do?