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Toyota, Ford Top Consumer Reports Car-Brand Perception Survey

BMW, Buick and Hyundai post unexpected declines.

by on Feb.04, 2013

The Toyota Furia Concept unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Toyota remains the automotive brand with the highest perception among American consumers, according to an annual study by Consumer Reports magazine, with Ford and Honda coming in close behind.

In a significant development domestic automotive brands accounted for half of the Car-Brand Perception Survey’s Top 10, according to the widely followed non-profit publication – with the California-based electric vehicle start-up Tesla Motors rounding out the list in 10th. The other domestic brands included Chevrolet, ranked fourth, Cadillac, at seventh, and Dodge, at ninth.

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The other brands in the Top 10 included Mercedes-Benz, ranked 5th, followed by sixth-ranked Volvo, and BMW in eighth.

In an unexpected development, BMW saw a decline in its brand awareness score, noted CR’s online deputy auto editor Jeff Bartlett, along with Buick and Hyundai.

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What’s in a Brand Name? Apparently, a Lot Less Than We Think

Buyers see little difference, shows Consumer Reports study.

by on Jan.30, 2012

Products like the new Prius C have helped build the Toyota brand name, but a new study says its image has slipped sharply.

Manufacturers spend millions – in some cases, billions – to get customers to focus on their brands.  And traditional auto industry research suggests that there are few things more valuable than a good brand image.

Or is there?

That may have been true in years past, but a new study by Consumer Reports magazine suggests “the difference between the top car brands and the challengers is shrinking.  While two Japanese importers and two Detroit marques still lead in overall perception, the gap is smaller than ever.

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That’s the sort of data that can send a chill through the corridors in an automaker’s marketing department, as it opens up the possibility that upstart competitors can gain a leg up with a good new product and a particularly creative ad campaign.  Kia’s hamsters anyone?

“Smaller companies have benefitted from the shift,” reports the non-profit publication, “illustrated by the small electric-car builder, Tesla, breaking into the top 10” in terms of brand perception.

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Ford, Toyota Locked in “Dead Heat,” Says Consumer Reports

Ford “excels in factors that consumers say matter.”

by on Jan.05, 2011

Ford gains, Toyota declines, in latest Consumer Reports Brand Perception study.

Ford and Toyota have found themselves in a statistical “dead heat” in terms of how they’re perceived by U.S. car buyers, reports Consumer Reports magazine.

The annual Car Brand Perception Survey reveals a number of trends and surprises about how motorists relate to various automotive brands.  Not unexpectedly, Toyota has taken some serious hits as a result of more than a year of scandals relating to its various quality and safety problems.  Ford, on the other hand, continues to gain momentum with an assortment of new products that seem to be hitting the sweet spot in the American market.

“Ford excels in the factors that consumers say matter most,” the influential non-profit publication reports, “safety, quality and value.”

Ironically, the good news for Ford comes just a day after Consumer Reports reviewers decided not to give a “Buy” recommendation to the maker’s Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, contending that their “MyTouch” touchscreen infotainment systems are “overly complicated and distracting.” (Click Here for the full story.) That same technology has won numerous endorsements from other third-party reviewers, reflecting Ford’s generally positive growth in consumer perception.

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