For the past generation or so Toyota has been synonymous with two things: Selling more passenger cars than anybody else (Camry, Corolla) and quality. Sure, there have been a few other themes associated with ToMoCo (green hybrids, not ready for prime-time full-size trucks), but for the most part, ubiquitousness and reliability have been the big selling points. Then came a particularly nasty case of sudden acceleration.
Bloomberg reports that four out of 10 Americans say they would "definitely not buy a Toyota." Compounding matters is another part of the Bloomberg survey that reveals a significant 36% of Americans have a negative view of Toyota. Ouch. Potentially worse is that less than half (49%) of those surveyed have a favorable view of Toyota.
Contrast those results to what Bloomberg learned about Ford. An overwhelming 77% of consumers have a favorable opinion of the house that Henry built. That's seven percent more favorable than second-place Honda. The survey found that many people are so amped up on the Blue Oval because unlike fellow American companies General Motors and Chrysler, Ford avoided taking Federal bailout money. That's probably part of the good will, but we think it runs a bit deeper than that.
Ford is making good products. With the exception of the soon-to-be-replaced Focus, every vehicle they make is a class leader. There's no compelling reason to choose a Camry or Accord over a Fusion, and the Fusion Hybrid just might be the best gas/electric vehicle on the market. The Flex is a true segment buster, and perhaps the most comfortable under several hundred thousand dollar way to move four adults around. The F-150 is as good as ever. Would you choose a Yaris over a Fiesta? There's also Ford's faster product cycles (think new 2011 Mustangs) and market-leading technology like Sync. Put it like this: these survey results don't surprise us an iota.