The "Perception Gap" Must Die

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

We've said it here time and time again: there is no perception gap between what The Big 2.8 build and how the public perceives it. Or, a little more generously, it's a level playing field. If GM, Ford and Chrysler are reaping what they sowed, so are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche and every other automaker on planet earth, And yet today's Wall Street Journal confers renewed legitimacy upon this pathetic excuse for losers. "'Building a better car and assuming people will buy it doesn't work,' GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner told reporters at this week's Frankfurt Auto Show. GM, he said, 'can do a better job' marketing its vehicles." So GM has better vehicles and their $2.9b ad spend ain't getting it done. Same old, same old. But the article's intro is by far the worst piece of diss-information. It reveals that CNW research takes a Toyota Camry, removes any identifying logos and tells consumers it's a new model from one of the U.S.-based auto makers. "If they think it's an American car, the perception of the vehicle falls dramatically," said Art Spinella, vice president of the Bandon, Ore.-based firm. "Detroit really gets a bum rap in the U.S." Or not.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Sep 18, 2007

    There are a lot of people who won't consider a foreign car when they shop, yet we never hear about that gap. Execs from Toyota don't whine about it.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Sep 18, 2007

    That "gap" isn't based on people thinking foreign cars are unreliable like people think domestic cars are. I doubt it can even be called a gap at all. To be honest, I'd like to meet the folks who would never consider a foreign car, perhaps we can down a beer or two.

  • Nemphre Nemphre on Sep 18, 2007

    "To be honest, I’d like to meet the folks who would never consider a foreign car, perhaps we can down a beer or two." I hope you like cheap beer and NASCAR...

  • 213Cobra 213Cobra on Sep 18, 2007
    I hope you like cheap beer and NASCAR… I'll pick you up at LAX in my Caddy. We'll go to Nobu or Capo, and then I have some 23 year bourbon and some 35 year old scotch to share. Phil