Toyota Takes a Beating

The immense wave of controversy, now in its second month, over alleged unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles is having impacting consumer sentiment negatively, according to market research firm Decision Analyst. 

Toyota has become less appealing to 53 percent of Americans, while at the same time 29 percent of Americans view Ford as having increased its appeal. Those were key findings contained in the firm’s New Vehicle Brand Barometer Study of 4,294 American consumers. 

Those are the “high-line” results, and less apparent are the competitive eddies swirling around all automotive brands today that are also impacting the scene. In addition to Ford, Chevrolet and Honda have also gained stature with the consumer populace over the past few years, and Chrysler joined Toyota as the only other net loser. (Chrysler’s loss was not nearly on the magnitude of Toyota’s fall from grace.)

“The competitive landscape it leaves in its wake will likely be very different than the one we knew just two short months ago,” said Allan Vivian, vice president at Decision Analyst. “Ford is still riding a sweet wave of positive sentiment about its refusal to take government funds, its financial turnaround (which is still in progress) and its appealing product offerings. Chevrolet is also registering at higher levels of appeal than most other brands. Of the three domestic brands, only Chrysler has not increased its appeal in a meaningful way. This could mean that more U.S. car buyers will now be ready to consider a domestic vehicle in the coming months.”

Data collection for the study is conducted online using American Consumer Opinion panel. The data for this release was collected between February 22 and March 5, and the sample size was 4,294. The margin of error is approximately 1.5 percent, plus or minus, at a 95 percent confidence level.


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  • May 7, 2010 - 5:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s sad to see Toyota’s reputation take a hit. Let this be a lesson to all vehicle manufacturers who’ve cut corners in the past or are considering doing so in the future. Interesting that Ford seems to have benefited from the Toyota debacle.

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