Consumer Reports: Perception is the New Reality

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Ironically enough, Jung observed "there is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality." Scanning the results of Consumer Reports (CR) automotive brand perception survey, Toyota execs must be muttering "thank God for that," while GM shouts "See? Told ya!" The CR survey evaluates how American consumers perceive car companies in seven key areas: safety, quality, value, performance, environmental friendliness, design and innovation. Toyota ranked first in overall brand perception, racking-up a score of 189. Honda snagged second place, scoring 146. Ford was the highest ranked American brand, placing third with 112 points. While Chevrolet and GMC made the "best" list, Buick was amongst Audi (!) and Acura at the bottom of the league table. Here are the winning brands in the seven categories (listed in order of importance according to respondents):

Safety – Volvo

Quality – Toyota

Value – Honda

Performance – BMW

Green – Toyota

Design/Style – Mercedes

Technology Innovation – Toyota

(For an explanation of CR's methodology, see the bottom of the linked page below.)

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4 of 19 comments
  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Jan 11, 2008
    jthorner-”Now can someone explain to me exactly what ANY of the domestic CAR brands has stood consistent for over decades?” They stand for getting the most profit with the least amount of work out of the customer(or 'suckers' as they like to refer to them).
  • Michael Karesh Michael Karesh on Jan 16, 2008

    Good to see they used a random sample for this one, as you really need a random sample when studying general perceptions. Quite the frothy topic, it's interesting to read how they try to make sense out of the results -- then refer people to their regular content for truly useful info. Is this the first such study from CR, or have their been others? I wonder what it signifies that they conducted a survey they did not rely on their membership. Maybe it was a one-off conducted for PR purposes. Maybe it's the first of many.

  • Crackers Crackers on Jan 16, 2008

    Acura has tried to position themselves as an automotive technology leader, something the general public doesn't really care about.

  • Voice of Sweden Voice of Sweden on Jan 16, 2008

    I'm not 100% sure but the chance is high that Volvo uses SSAB-products, see "Docal" and "Dogal". And they are in good company with Porsche whom I am certain uses SSAB steel. I've got som theories why the US "don't get" Audi, but that's for later.