In what has to be one of the least surprising developments related to the auto industry, a newly-released survey finds that Americans' favorable view of Ford Motor Company has increased substantially since it became the sole member of the Detroit Three to abstain from taking federal funds.

Before the Capitol Hill Bailout Bonanza got going in earnest late last year, just 41% of Americans held the Blue Oval in a positive light. Now, after billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent keeping now-bankrupt Chrysler and soon-to-be (in all likelihood) bankrupt General Motors in business, FoMoCo's positive number has jumped up to 63%, according to a survey conducted by the Aloft Group last week.

However, that's not to say that those surveyed believe Ford's out of the woods: a mere 24 percent of the respondents think Ford doesn't need Uncle Sam to come to the rescue. Still, Ford's decision to mortgage everything on its own in a bid to stay alive has been a big PR success, and you can bet that Alan Mulally will instruct staffers to burn all the office furniture in Dearborn this winter before he looks to Capitol Hill for a penny in bailout dollars. In Detroit right now, the Scarlet Letter is "B."

[Source: The Detroit News]

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