General Motors spent $97.2 million within the past decade on Super Bowl ads alone and found itself in bankruptcy and government hands for its trouble.
Now that it's returned and is preparing to get the government out of its shareholder meetings, the rest of the auto industry has jumped on Super Bowl Sunday as their ad day of choice. Exactly two auto manufacturers bought Super Bowl ads back in 2003. Last year, seven car companies and 12 brands in all joined the fray,This year, Audi has spent nearly $8 million on a 60-second spot, Ford's (F) Lincoln brand has a 60-second spot, Mercedes-Benz has an ad in the fourth quarter and its name on the Superdome host stadium in New Orleans. Volkswagen, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Chrysler and Toyota (TM) will all have ads as well. GM, meanwhile, is playing with taxpayer money and the last thing Washington wants to do after the fiscal cliff fiasco and amid the debt ceiling debate is spend millions on a Super Bowl ad. GM will sit out the Super Bowl yet again this year while its competition races away with the spoils.