Ford’s reputation picked up, survey says
Consumers rate it close 2d to Toyota
Toyota scored 147 points in the 2011 Car Brand Perception Survey while Ford received 144 points, a margin that the magazine called a “statistical dead heat.’’ The magazine said Ford had made strides in safety, quality, and value, three key parts of the survey.
Toyota and Ford were followed by Honda Motor Co. with 121 points, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand with 102 points, and BMW with 93 points. Mercedes-Benz finished sixth with 90 points, followed by Volvo with 84 points, Toyota’s Lexus brand with 69 points, GM’s Cadillac brand with 66 points, and Subaru with 50 points.
Toyota, the world’s number one automaker, has struggled with a series of high-profile safety recalls during the past year and Consumers said the survey reflected the recalls’ impact on the company’s image. Toyota had a substantial lead over Ford in last year’s survey.
But the Japanese automaker, which sells the Prius hybrid, still held a significant lead over the competition for building environmentally friendly vehicles, helping it hold onto the top overall score.
Toyota said that given the challenges of 2010, “we expect that some public perception of Toyota’s longstanding reputation for quality and reliability might be influenced in the short term. Other indicators are showing that we’ve turned the page and we anticipate regaining leadership in this very important and influential survey in the very near future.’’
Ford scored highest for value and was among the leaders in several categories, including safety, quality, and environmentally friendly considerations.
Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said the survey offered more proof that “consumers are recognizing and responding to the quality that is built into every Ford vehicle. The gap between the true quality of Ford products and the public perception of that quality is closing.’’
The magazine said the scores were based on a survey that looked at consumer perception of each brand in safety, quality, value, performance, design/style, technology/innovation, and environmentally friendly/green.
The random nationwide phone survey was conducted Dec. 2-6 by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey contacted 2,109 adults and collected data from 1,721 adults in households that had at least one car.