We asked members of the USA TODAY Shopper Panel who own General Motors or Chrysler vehicles if President Obama's plans to boost car buying would make them more likely to buy a new vehicle, especially from the two beleaguered automakers.
Here are some reactions:
• "We would absolutely be interested in a guarantee of money toward a new vehicle. Of course, the question is how much? We have a 2000 Lincoln that runs great and only has 40,000 miles on it, but we would love a more fuel efficient car. We bought a Dodge Caliber a few years ago and would buy one again. We are not likely to go with GM, I just don't think they are doing enough to conserve energy." — Lisa Martzke, Punta Gorda, Fla.
• "It certainly adds to the cake. Unless something really bad were to come out about GM, I would probably strongly consider them when I was making the decision." — Andy Phelan, Columbus, Ohio
•"To tell you the truth, I would never own another Chrysler vehicle again after the last one I had. I bought it used and I swear the dealer knew it was a lemon to begin with. I got no help from the dealer or Chrysler. We finally dumped it and I've bought another Ford Focus. We are now a two Ford Focus Family. GM and Chrysler can go out of business for all I care. I'm sticking with Ford forever. — Donna Pease, Summerville, S.C.
•"A financial incentive to enhance trade-in value would be a good idea to stimulate buying. However, I believe the free market is ultimately the best policy; let us purchase the vehicle that best suits our needs and circumstances. I do not believe the strong-arm tactic of herding business towards any company that cannot otherwise succeed on the basis of their product and its quality-to-value ratio is wise. Darwinism applies to goods, too. Back off, big government."— Barb Brown, Spring Lake, Mich.
•"I think it is immoral for the government to jump into the private marketplace and start deciding who is worthy of surviving and who is not. Unlike a bank that fails and the FDIC takes it over using funds that banks pay into, this is a private company who has not been able to manage their business for years, that the taxpayers now have to come in to rescue. The chances of ever getting our money back is slim to none in the long run, as you may get back what they were given now, but I truly believe that the government being involved micro-managing this company will just have them needing more government aid in the future, and that is why I do not believe we will ever get back. Because I think it is immoral for the government to give an edge to a failing company, I will vote with my dollars, and use my available cash to reward the companies that are working through tough times through their own hard work and sacrifice vs. asking Uncle Sam to ride to the rescue."— Kristie Maupin, Epping, N.D.
• "Seems like we are willing to print money for less reason. I will only buy an American car anyway, so it really doesn't mean much to me. (The cash) might, however, influence me to buy sooner than later." — Gil Dudrow, Little River, S.C.