US Auto Manufacturers Go Online To Boost Bailout Bid

08 December 2008

DETROIT: Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Chrsyler have turned to websites like YouTube and Twitter to make their case for a bailout, after their respective ceos spent six hours begging for government funding last week before the US Senate's Banking Committee.

The three companies have launched various online initiatives in support of their bid, such as Ford's discussion forum, GM's information hub, and Chrysler's launch of its own channel on YouTube. 

Ford has also recently acquired from Google such search advertising terms as 'auto bailout' that link to its own content. It has also purchased display ads on The Wall Street Journal and CNN web portals. 

Members of its Ford staff have been active on social networking website Twitter, and the company used content-sharing to allow users to rate and share its business plan.

GM had previously also acquired related search advertising space on Google, and taken third-party ad space provided by the search giant.

Kelly Cusinato, speaking on behalf of the company, says: "As people are out there, Googling or using Yahoo, trying to learn more about this issue, the search ads let our site pop up as an option for people to click and learn more." 

One of the key issues at last week's Senate hearing was the possible tie-up between GM and Chrysler, with Rick Wagoner, ceo of the former, saying the plan should judged "on its merits". 

Chrysler ceo Robert Nardelli said such a deal could lead to the two companies saving a combined $8 billion (€6.3bn; £5.5bn) to $10 billion a year, and that he would give up his job to save Chrysler.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal/; additional content by WARC staff