During his state of the economy speech on Capitol Hill, President Obama was passionate in stating his commitment to saving the domestic auto industry. While domestic automakers have the President's support, the general public may be less receptive to more government loans. A recent USA Today poll taken in the days before President Obama's speech shows that only 25% of the 1,013 Americans polled are now in favor of additional assistance. That's down from 61% in December just before the government agreed to $17.4 billion in loans to General Motors and Chrysler.

While the majority of people surveyed are not in favor of additional government loans, 51% believe that all three automakers will survive this tumultuous time. Without additional loans, GM and Chrysler say that they will be forced to declare bankruptcy, which both caution is a very risky endeavor. While Chrysler and GM are getting the lion's share of attention, Ford's cash hoard isn't likely to last too much longer if the industry continues to deteriorate. Himanshu Patel, an auto analyst at JPMorgan Chase, feels that the Blue Oval is only 9-12 months behind GM in the race to insolvency. Patel feels Ford's cash on hand will fall to $9 billion by year's end, the minimum it needs to stay in business.

[Source: USA Today | Image: Darren Hauck/Getty]

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