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Consumers Choose The Best And The Worst Car Brands

Tesla is one of the ten highest rated car brands in America, says the Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey. Is that a good thing? Marketers are troubled by this development. The trouble is not that a newcomer like Tesla is rated so highly.

Overall, the halos of the top brands are fading fast.

Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Chevrolet, perennial leaders in the survey, maintained their top positions but have seen the points gap decrease. Most of the top brands saw double-digit drops in their total scores. Which allows smaller companies to catch up.

At the turn of the millennium, people in highly developed countries started to tire of brands. Words like “brand blase”, “anti-brand” and “reverse snobism” made the rounds. It started with fashion, where the display of fancy labels became gauche, and low priced outlets like H&M or Uniqlo became cool. Cars were one of the last areas where brands made a difference. Now it seems to be their turn.

“Overall, the car-brand leaders do not stand out from the pack the way they did only a couple years ago,” says the study. Toyota continues to dominate overall in brand perception, although it slipped a 17 points, compared with last year’s survey results. Other top brands, Ford, Honda, and BMW, likewise dropped more than 20 points. Cadillac and Chevrolet saw only single-digit decreases.

America’s Top Car Brands 2012

Brand Score
Toyota 131
Ford 121
Honda 94
Chevrolet 92
Mercedes-Benz 84
BMW 69
Volvo 67
C

adillac 63
Lexus 54
Tesla 51
America’s Worst Car Brands 2012

Brand Score
Infiniti 16
Mazda 16
Jeep 12
Suzuki 11
Mercury 10
Land Rover 8
Fiat 7
Mini 7
Mitsubishi 7
Saab 5

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