Brands carry tremendous power in today’s auto industry. Say the names Ford, Toyota, General Motors or Volkswagen and you’re likely to immediately conjure up a clear image about things like design, performance, quality and reliability.
Brand image translates into sales and owner loyalty, said Bill Ford, the chairman of Ford Motor Co. But in an appearance following the media preview of the North American International Auto Show, the executive questioned whether automotive brands could become irrelevant in the near future.
“What will brands mean in an autonomous world,” said Ford, the great-grandson of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford.