From October to November 2008, online consumer references to a potential government bailout of U.S. domestic automotive manufacturers grew by more than 380%, according to an analysis of auto-related blog discussions released Wednesday by Nielsen Online.
In mid-November, following GM released its quarterly earnings report -- which highlighted the gravity of the Big Three Automakers' financial situation, and online consumers began comparing the potential auto bailout to the U.S. government's bailout of the financial industry or the Chapter 11 benefits/consequences of the airline industry.
Around November 21, the first Congressional bailout hearings spurred consumers' opinions across the Internet. Many questioned how the domestic OEMs will be held accountable for using bailout funds. Others heavily criticized the Big Three Auto CEOs for flying corporate jets to the hearings.
In non-bailout related blog discussions, online consumers expressed enthusiasm about potential future Toyota hybrid models, such as a sport coupe version of the Prius or a Lexus-only hybrid compact.
Online consumers were also abuzz during the L.A. Auto Show, with many expressing interest in alternative fuels and new versions of vehicles, such as the Ford Fusion and Mustang, Lexus RX, Mazda 3, Nissan 370Z, and Cube.
View the complete "Automotive Industry Overview" for November 2008.
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