Back in December, 2006, an AOL/ Associated Press poll showed that 46 percent of Americans felt Asian automakers made superior cars, while only 29 percent of U.S. residents preferred domestic cars and trucks. But Toyota's recall woes and the sudden rise of Ford's popularity has apparently conspired to turn those poll numbers on end. A new AP poll launched in March shows that 38 percent of Americans now favor domestic vehicles, while only 32 percent of those polled felt Asian automakers made superior products. 15 percent of those surveyed felt European autos were best, down two percentage points from the 2006 poll.

Ford posted the biggest gains in the survey, as 18 percent of customers say they preferred the Blue Oval, double the nine percent from 2006. Ford picked up nearly all of its votes from Toyota, as the Japanese automaker went from 25 percent in 2006 to 15 percent in March. General Motors also managed an 18 percent score, about the same total as it did in 2006. Chrysler scored only three percent in both surveys. Over 90 percent of car owners felt they were satisfied with their GM, Ford, Honda or Toyota. Chrysler came in at under 90 percent. Also interesting to note is that 56 percent of those queried say they own at least one domestic auto, the same number as the 2006 survey.

One of the oddest outcomes of the poll came on the safety front. Even though cars are generally considered safer now than they were in 2006, only 51 percent of those surveyed felt Asian or domestic autos are safe. Also bizarre was the fact that the number of people who were willing to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle dropped from 70 percent in 2006 to 61 percent in 2010. Head over to the Detroit Free Press for more information about the AP survey, and then feel free to drop your fellow commenters a line about who you think builds the best cars and trucks.

[Source: Detroit Free Press | Image: Larry W. Smith/Getty]

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