Volkswagen’s once strongly positive image among American consumers has collapsed in the wake of revelations the German automaker cheated on diesel emissions tests.
The fact that the vast majority of potential buyers now do not trust the brand could have a major impact on its sales, warn researchers at AutoPacific, Inc, the consulting firm that conducted the survey. While it is too early to measure that impact, VW has already announced the first cuts in its worldwide production network, and the company’s supervisory board is now looking for ways to shore up its finances.
“How Volkswagen handles this issue is critical,” said Dan Hall, a vice president at AutoPacific. “Trust is an important issue with consumers, and every brand works hard to maintain that trust.”