Could a Conservative Boycott Hurt the New GM?

Gm-Logo Now that we the taxpayers are set to own 60% of GM when it emerges from bankruptcy, far-right conservatives have called upon people to boycott what they call “Government Motors.”

Among them are radio talk show hosts like Hugh Hewitt, who said that “every dollar spent with GM is a dollar spent against free enterprise.” Rush Limbaugh has backed off a bit from initial calls for a brand shutout, but that hasn’t stopped his vitriolic attacks against the U.S. automaker.

Could a boycott actually work? No one seems to think so. It’s easy to see how President Barack Obama’s action could get a conservative’s blood boiling, but people buy cars for economic reasons, or for a car’s quality or status. Otherwise, “buy American” should have worked all those years ago, right?

There’s also the possibility that right-wing venom could make car buyers on the coasts more sympathetic to GM products. Right now, GM sells very poorly in those two regions, especially in major markets like California and New York, where voters tend to do the exact opposite of what people like Hewitt and Limbaugh tell them.

What do you think? Could a boycott affect GM’s future? Would you ever consider joining a boycott of a car company? Let us know in the comments.

Right Wing Threatens to Launch Boycott of “Government Motors” (Detroit Bureau)

Comments 

I'm as liberal as they come, but I have a hard time believing that Hugh Hewitt or Rush Limbaugh speak for a large portion of this country. Besides, these types of boycotts rarely reach good organization. What I don't get is why the two of them don't see how what their saying is hypocritcal. They claim to speak for the worker in this country, but they are doing everything they can to step on their face.

Happymantis

Its a very surreal situation, considering how strongly pickup trucks (which domestics specialize in) fit into the conservative lifestyle, especially in the South and Southwest, I wonder how those truck drivers will react to this conservative boycott, led by conservative pundits who most likely drive imported luxury vehicles.

ermatthe

Seems like "Government Motors" or "Gone Motors" were the only two options for GM.

A true choice of the lesser of two evils.

People would be criticizing the decision either way.

Dave Wuss

Never heard of Hugh Hewitt but as far as a boycott goes it's irrelevant as Americans have already spoken and they want no part of GM.

alex

As a conservative, im very upset with the bailout of GM. I dont feel it was worth saving. I know people would have lost work, but it wasnt the right the right thing to do to give them money. Im a honda/toyota guy, but if i ever bought from the big 3, it would be from Ford. They are resisting the money. I think a lot of people feel the same way that i do about Ford. Ford has won a lot more support and they are working on improving their lineup.

Max

You'll have to look at future Ford sales to see if there's a switch from GM and Chrysler - so long as Ford manages to avoid the fate of the other two.

The funny thing is that the liberal bastions are far more likely to be heavy in Toyota, Honda, etc sales. It seems the liberals were/are not all that concerned with the fate of the UAW members - at least to the point of putting their money where their mouth is. It seems liberals have been "boycotting" American brands for years. A while back, the Detroit News published an article on the cars owned by the nice liberal Dem members of the presidential auto task force. It was not a pretty picture.

It's also funny that other unions never made a big push to have their members buy UAW cars. Just think what the market would look like if all the unionized public employees supported their "union brothers" by buying UAW cars. When I pass the parking lot of my local, union, public school, I get to see masses of Japanese brands.

For the record, I bought a new Focus (made in MI) last year. It replaced an Escort.

JM

Government Motors is exactly the right term. Fearless Leader Obama should not have taken over GM, plain and simple. GM should have filed for Chapter 11 a long time ago. that $25 billion in bailouts for GM and Chrysler has proved to be a waste, and guess who gets to fit the bill: the taxpayers. this government ownership of the company is just a stepping stone to other socialist programs. now, the administration can argue that it "saved" GM and Chrysler, so therefore it has the right to take over many other companies. before we know it, the government is going to have many different federal companies, and capitalism and economic freedom as we know it will exsist.

you liberals can argue that "its not going to happen" and "its for the good of everyone," but i can tell you that, yes it is happening, and no its not for the good of everyone. the government taking over industries destroys competition and squanders any chance any person has at starting their own company and being successful. the government will always be able to undermine and out compete other firms. some argue that these programs are good for the poor, but in reality, no one is entitled to any handouts. people need to learn to make their own money and be fiscally responsible instead of taking other people's money that they dont deserve. furthermore, someone that takes a risk and starts a business or becomes successful in any other way should not be penalized. guess what liberals THEY WILL BE.

lately, we've been hearing about government-run health care as well. Comrade Obama would like to make you think that it will be only for those that can't afford health care, and you'll be able to keep your own plan and doctor, but that it the farthest lie from the truth. in reality, the government will out compete private firms that have allowed the heath care we have to be the best in the world, and we'll be stuck with a disastrous system like the ones in Europe and Canada. this administration could spell the end of capitalism.

Peter in NJ

I am a conservative who happens to own a Chrysler. Rest assured I will not buy one again after Obama defrauded secured bondholders in favor of the Unamerican Auto Workers, and I will never buy ANYTHING from Government Motors. Back to owning Hondas, which never gave me any type of trouble. Thanks, Obama, you made my next car-buying decision a simple one.

Tony

Peter in NJ,

Be careful with Hondas. Especially Accord, Odyssey... They are not problem-free.

JM,

good stuff. Do you remember, how Obama was criticizing his opponent that he was about to tax your med. benefits for the first time in history? Guess what? The new Obama plan will do exactly that!

While I voted for Obama, simply because the old guy was out of his mind and the girl next to him was dumb, I didn't realize to which extent Obama is ready to shift government towards owning companies. At this point I think we should make a law that government can't own any company because this IS Socialism.

It would be nice if everybody would ignore GM, to make it fail again to show our government our distaste to socialism but unfortunately americans are too selfish. We will buy what we like no matter what is at stake. And I tell you folks, there is a lot at stake now. Our country, our feature.
As it goes like now, Lenin was right - we will be veined off capitalism and move toward socialism - the superior system. (I dock now - don't shoot the messenger)

Rick

It's very simple. The only untarnished AMERICAN car company left is Ford. Their reliability ratings have been much improved over the past few years. Most car magazines rank them up there as good if not better than Toyota. I will be buying Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury from now on.

Troy S.

Rick,

Did you know Ford borrowed Billions of dollars in 2006? Mind you it was from banks and creditors. They were in bad shape too. Just saw the writing on the wall while Fiat-sler and Groveling Motors chose to ignore it.

Mark

typical conservative idiocy

Idaho Guy

I've been boycotting GM since the late 80's, while owning a Chevy Corsica...that literally fell apart. Two Chevy service departments installed 3 obsoleted ECU's - they weren't even reading their own service bulletins! Amazing incompetence!!

Never looked back at GM. Have been buying Ford trucks and import cars ever since. Now the proud owner of an F150, a Kia Sorento and a Kia Spectra. All EXCELLENT vehicles. I wouldn't own a GM for any discount - they do not deserve to be in business, OR deserve MY business.

Dave Wuss

I prefer the dem idiocy of doubling our National debt from $10 to $20 Trillion w/o any job creation. The REAL unemployment rate is 15.6% and climbing. Welcome to Obamanomics.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/learn-how-to-invest/The-real-unemployment-rate.aspx

Term limits would cure this country of the worst disease ever known to man, "career politician".

Original sheth

Americans are so ignorant that its really embarrassing. First of all the government only owns 8% or 9% of Chrysler do boycotting them because of government ownership is just stupid. One of the provincial governments in GErmany owns about 20% of VW so I assume these same people wouldn't buy a VW product either.

Claiming to be patriotic while bragging that you only buy Honda and Toyota products is also ridiculous. Japan rigs the rules to protect its automakers in their domestic market. They play with the currency and put up trade barriers that essentially bars foreign automakers from doing business over there. On top of that JApanese automaker benefit from a socialized medical system that gives them a nice cost advantage relative to American automakers. If you are against "socialism" you should technically boycott Japanese and German cars. Not only do those manufacturers benefit from socialized medicicine, they have strong unions in Europe and lifetime employment in Japan. Toyota allows US workers that arent building trucks to collect full paychecks while they clean up parks or paint in San Antonio. All the stuff that people supposedly hate about the US automakers or the current administration is already being done by foreign automakers and their governments.

Buying Toyota when you claim to be patriotic is very interesting considering they import 40% of their vehicles from Japan. How is that helping America? I can assure you that vehicles made in Japan do not source materials from US suppliers.

Original sheth

Troy S.

You have no clue what you are talking about. Don't try to take an authoritative tone towars others if you don't have your facts straight. Ford borrowed money because they were running out of money and needed billions to fund their latest restructuring plan. Ford's tapping of credit had nothing to do with "seeing the writing on the wall" and at the time many saw it as a last ditch act of desperation. They mortgaged every single asset they had, including the Ford logo to get access to billions of dollars. Most Americans have no clue why Ford doesn't need government money and don't realize Ford was more lucky than good. Basically Ford was nearly broke at the right time and was able to get private capital that was not available by the time GM and Chrysler realized they were in danger of going broke.

Original sheth

Rick:

I know its been 8-9 months but I will remind you that ford (the untarnished car company) supported government aid for GM last fall. Ford understands that this market is catastrophic and they know they cannot survive another year if things do not turn around in a big way. Ford and GM were executing very similar plans before the recession hit last fall. Ford started later and was moving more aggressively, but the goals were very similar to GM's plan. In addition, GM was the one that initially got the UAW to agree to drastic changes in 2007- Ford and Chrysler benefitted from GM's negotiations since their deals typically mimic whatever GM is able to get.

DL

it has already been said often that GM is "a little too little, a little too late." cars like the G8 and CTS are almost universally praised by critics. but a couple of great products will not make a whole company competitive. i was ready to buy a CTS until i found that a few options that should be standard in its class were wrapped up in ridiculously expensive option packages. but i digress...

people will boycott according to their ideologies; each to his own. a lot of my friends' families boycott Japanese cars for their past atrocities; some Jewish people boycott German cars. they clearly are not bankrupting those car makers. so for GM, boycotting or not is not an issue if they make more compelling/exciting/reliable products.

if something's broken, you fix it. you do not simply abandon it. what are you going to do with all the workers, infrastructure, etc etc? what makes people think that getting rid of an old system will guarantee a better new system? it will be filled with the same dysfunctional, inefficient staff (from top to bottom) that dragged down GM in the first place.

stephen b

What nobody really talks about are the ethical questions surrounding GM and Chrysler. For instance, as the Feds dump billions of dollars of OUR money into the two companies, should they share their R&D with Ford and other American industrial companies? As taxpayers, are we not entitled to the intellectual property developed in their R&D shops? How about lobbying? GM is still permitted to lobby the Feds - any other government is explicitly blocked from doing so.

The boycott is *not* a conservative vs liberal or republican vs democrat issue. The issue surrounds ethics and how the Feds will tailor laws around their new investments - it is not fair for Ford or the "New Detroit" down South. As a person that voted for Obama, I will never buy another GM or Chrysler product - no way, no how - never again.

Peter

I find it amazing that people would promote boycotting these 2 companies AFTER they received US gov't dollars (sorry, OUR dollars). The most effective boycott would have been BEFORE the bailout.
Once these companies received our money, the RIGHT thing to do is support them so they can repay the $$. Anything less is merely political theater -- if GM and Chrysler fail, then Obama (dems) are fools. That's the only outcome I see that would benefit Rush et al.

Rick

Stephen B

I totally agree with this statement!

"The boycott is *not* a conservative vs liberal or republican vs democrat issue. The issue surrounds ethics and how the Feds will tailor laws around their new investments - it is not fair for Ford or the "New Detroit" down South. As a person that voted for Obama, I will never buy another GM or Chrysler product - no way, no how - never again."

Deanna

I drive a GMC Yukon Denali (leased), but when my lease is up this year, I will NOT even consider a GM/Chrysler!! I am so mad about the bailouts and unions that I will buy a Ford or a car manufactured in the south! They have lost my business forever.

jhimmi

I might consider a GM vehicle this year if I can get one at a deep discount, but after this year, or maybe next year, there is no way I would buy a GM until the govt divests itself.

One the reasons I won't buy GM is because I can't support this obvious power grab any more than I could support Acorn participating in the census or counting ballots. The socialist/facist ownership model will undoubtedly turn GM into a political/campaign propaganda tool.

The reason why I would only consider it this year is that it will take at least two or three years for the feds to ruin the cars, or the service departments, or the warranties.

skinner

Rush is an idiot. I refuse to believe that a pill popping, womanizing, tobacco addicted fat slob like him speaks for all conservatives in this country.

tsagas

I am trading my Trailblzer in for a Honda CR-V. I would like to buy another GM product, but it makes a political statement: "Approver of Obama's blatant takeover of a great American Company." I hardly approve of anything he has done, except maybe the killing of UBL, and even that is hard to take with his arrogant self adoration/idolization. So I am not "boycotting" the company, just finding it impossible to justify buying from them. I hope GM is able to free itself from big government/labor union shackles, but it looks hopeless right now. Honda's are now more than 80% American made now, even more after the tsunami disaster. The real American car is no longer a Chevy. Makes me want to cry.

Mike

Personally, buying a GM product sends the wrong message and rewards BAD behavior. I'm not political in the LEAST bit (ALL politicians are thieves!!!) but the cars aren't even that great to begin with, and this is ANOTHER reason not to buy GM. I had a Cadillac for a company car, it was unrefined and overpriced.

I chose the car allowance the next time around (Even though you have to provide your own insurance.) My point is, I chose to PAY for a vehicle over the FREE GM vehicle that my company offered. That should say something.

GM doesn't have a place in the luxury car market and should know better. Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, and just about anything else outclasses Cadillac. Buick HAS to rip off the Lexus ES becuase they can't design or even engineer their OWN cars seeing the Lacrosse is actually German.

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