American consumers' opinions about Ford Motor Co. have been positively influenced by the auto maker's decision not to accept government bailout funds, according to AutoPacific polling of 900 consumers on their purchase intent and views of individual car companies.
Survey highlights include:
- Asian and European manufacturers scored highest when the survey asked: “How concerned are you about buying/leasing a vehicle?” from particular auto makers. Ford scored 48%, far ahead of General Motors Corp's 15% and Chrysler LLC's 14%.
- Ford matched or scored higher than its Asian and European competitors in response to the question: “How likely are you to buy/lease a new car?” from specific manufacturers.
“Ford's restructuring, which started months before the current economic downturn, has clearly helped…in terms of public perception,” says AutoPacific President George Peterson. “Some don't think Ford is out of the woods, but, overall, consumers view Ford quite favorably versus their cross-town rivals and on par or better than most imports.”
But he issues an ominous industry warning. “All brands will be significantly challenged if the downturn continues into 2010.”