Ford matches Toyota as the most favorably viewed auto brand by U.S. consumers

Article by Christian A., on January 6, 2011

In a survey conducted by the Consumer Reports magazine and voted on by consumers in the United States, Ford Motor Co. matched Toyota Motor Corp. as the most favorably viewed auto brand. In the last couple of years, Ford has gone up 35 percentage points, while Toyota has fallen 46 points, leaving the two carmakers “in a statistical dead heat.”

The Japanese carmaker suffered from the recalls around the world during the past two years. On the other hand, Ford, the only major US automaker have managed to avoid bankruptcy, was able to improve its reputation for safety, quality and value.

In a statement, Consumer Reports said that Ford “built on the momentum” perceived in last year's study. This high perception is believed to be because of a model lineup with improving performance, reliability and styling. On the other hand, Toyota’s image has been tarnished by the massive recalls, according to the survey by Consumer Reports.

According to the Consumer Reports magazine, safety, quality and value remain to be the most important factors for US consumers who are looking for a new car.

Nonetheless, the magazine pointed out that Toyota kept a significant lead in ‘environmentally friendly/green’ category, which is basically a survey category that continues to be less important to consumers.

Toyota leads the category by a large margin, with a score of 46. Ford finished second, but the gap with Toyota is huge – its score of 18 isn't even half that of Toyota’s. The magazine noted that if Toyota wasn’t very far ahead in the green category, Ford would have clearly claimed the top overall score. Notwithstanding, Ford was able to match Toyota as the most favorably viewed auto brand by consumers in the US.

Consumer Reports is an American magazine published since 1936 by Consumers Union, which is a nonprofit organization that conducts unbiased product testing and consumer-oriented research as well as public education and advocacy. The reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services published by Consumer Reports are all on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory and survey research center.

The Consumer Reports magazine is known for its policies on editorial independence and doesn’t allow outside advertising in the magazine, although its Web site has retailers' ads. Consumer Reports bars the use of its reviews for selling products, as it doesn’t allow a manufacturer to advertise a positive review. Its staff purchases all tested products at retail prices, and doesn’t accept free samples in order to prevent bias.

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