10 Percent of Dealers wanted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as Car Czar

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DETROIT, February 17, 2009 — With Obama’s auto panel some Big Three auto dealerships are getting exactly who they wanted to lead the auto industry through its current problems.

In a recent survey of 600 Big Three auto dealerships, Focus Inc learned ten percent of the general managers polled wanted Timothy Geithner as car czar, despite the fact he was already Obama’s choice for Treasury secretary. Geithner was a write-in on the ballot but still tallied ten percent of the total votes. Ford had the strongest desire for the already-spoken-for Geithner at 11 percent, and GM and Chrysler followed closely at ten and nine percent respectively.

In addition to stats about the car czar, Focus Inc also learned 83 percent of those polled believe their dealerships are safe and not in danger of closing, regardless of negative industry forecasts. Furthermore, they remain loyal to their brand. For instance, when asked if they could be any other Big Three dealer, which would they be, 90 percent of Ford dealers surveyed said they would not change brand affiliation, as well as 79 percent of Chrysler and 81 percent of GM.

More survey findings:
45 percent surveyed knew the TALF acronym stood for Term Asset-backed securities Loan Facility, with Chrysler leading the way at 51 percent able to define the acronym and Ford who needs the least amount of assistance only showed 41 percent who could define the acronym.

Considering where the grass might be greener, seven percent of Ford and five percent of Chrysler dealers polled said they would change dealership affiliation to GM if they could. Additionally, an envious 16 percent of Chrysler and 15 percent of GM dealers thought it would be better to be Ford.

58 percent of GM, 49 percent of Chrysler, and 66 percent of Ford dealers are now more optimistic with President Obama in office.

While 83 percent of all surveyed did not believe their dealerships were in danger of closing, Ford was most confident at 86 percent. GM was ranked second at 82 percent, and Chrysler was a close third at 81 percent.

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