Poll: International Consumers Link Bush Administration’s Foreign Policies with Big Name Car Manufacturers

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GMI World Poll finds brand name association with Â?AmericaÂ? becomes liability for DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors.

“Made in America” is no longer an advantage for American giant automakers DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors. While international consumers remain troubled over the Bush administration’s foreign policies, new data suggests that this discontent towards America’s Government is impacting global American companies. As a consequence, being perceived as an American company has become a liability for American automakers according to independent market research solutions firm GMI, Inc. (http://www.worldpoll.com).

“Historically, branding a product as American has definitely conferred a benefit in overseas markets, however, as foreigners’ come to view America less favorable because of current foreign policy, some of the respect and attachment to big American brands will be lost. It is very important to understand what the primary factors are that influence foreigners’ image of America, which is why GMI World Poll is asking these types of questions. Is it personal travel, US exported pop culture, media reports, or US foreign policy that is most important in influencing international consumers’ perception of America,” explains Dr. Mitchell Eggers, COO and Chief Pollster at GMI, Inc.

GMI’s World Poll, which samples 8,000 individuals from all G8 economic countries* (1,000 representative sampling in each), is the foremost internationally focused public opinion survey to compile data linking the Bush administration’s foreign policies directly to international consumers’ reluctance to purchase American automobiles. The survey found that 55% of international consumers surveyed cite an increasingly negative perception of the United States, while 67% of international consumers believe American unilateral foreign policies are guided by “self interests” and “empire building.”

“When international consumers regard our foreign policy as arrogant, it undercuts our soft or attractive power. Unfortunately, these GMI World Polls suggest that the effects spill over beyond the political into the commercial arena and American brands suffer,” added Professor Joseph Nye of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and author of Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics

GMI World Poll’s data also reveals that 18%, or one in five international consumers, say they have had a negative shift in their willingness to purchase American products as a result of recent American foreign policy and military action. From this 18% (1260 respondents), when asked to rank how closely they associated the brand names of big name car manufacturers with America, 43% said General Motors was extremely American, with DaimlerChrysler at 36% and Ford at 36%. When these 1260 respondents were asked to rank which products would most likely be impacted by their purchasing habits, 31% said they would definitely avoid purchasing DaimlerChrysler automobiles, 29% General Motors, and 25% Ford.

“There are a wide range of political activists around the world and they all have various tactics for promoting their point of view. Some are highly informed and vote with their pocket books, others are less motivated to send a message through their purchasing habits, but may slowly change their buying habits or join a publicized boycott for a short period of time. GMI World Poll results show the potential for significant shifts in buying patterns are forming,” continued Dr. Eggers. He added that, “Clearly, Ford and Chevrolet are brands that are closely associated with America and there are readily available substitutes. The deteriorating image of America could easily have an impact on automobile purchases in foreign markets.”

The greatest resistance to purchasing American automobiles was found in Germany and France. Out of 1/5 of German international consumers (1000 person representative sample), 35% said they would definitely avoid purchasing General Motors automobiles, 34% DaimlerChrysler, and 27% Ford. Similarly, our of 1/4 of French international consumers surveyed (1000 person representative sample), 46% said they would definitely avoid purchasing DaimlerChrysler vehicles, 44% General Motors, and 34% Ford (According to a recent BBC News Report, both GM and Ford are suffering in Europe with loses of $236 million in the region).

Complete results of GMI World Poll surveys are available in their entirety at the following web site: (http://www.worldpoll.com). Upon request, GMI will provide media with comprehensive World Poll survey results cross-tabulated by variables such as age, gender, geographic region, and where applicable, race and ethnicity.

*G8 nations are the world's major industrial democracies, including Canada, France, Germany, China, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

About GMI World Poll

GMI World Poll quickly and accurately gathers international opinions about topical issues and critical global events, with real-time results available in as little as 24 hours. GMI World Poll is the only survey that polls global opinions in real-time, on-line, and with statistically accurate results. More information on GMI World Poll is available at http://worldpoll.com.

About GMI

GMI provides integrated solutions for market research. The company’s advanced software, Net-MR, is a fully integrated net-centric suite of software tools used to manage and automate research throughout the project lifecycle, across the globe. Additionally, GMI’s highly profiled, double opt-in panels offer a single-vendor solution for global sample. One of the worlds largest actively managed panels, it contains 200 country panels, more countries than any other supplier. With operations on five continents, GMI is the partner of choice for conducting global market research at the speed of the Internet. More information on GMI is available at http://www.gmi-mr.com.

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