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Automobile trade repairs manufacturer’s image damage

Automobile trade repairs manufacturer’s image damage

The increasing pressure to innovate and cost, the ever more complex technology and the shortening of development times mean that one product recall chases the next in the automotive industry. Nonetheless, the proportion of car buyers who speak of a loss of trust in the brand in these cases has fallen slightly within two and a half years.

The market research company Puls asked more than 1,000 car buyers the effects of the skyrocketing recall volume. With surprising results: only just under half of the study participants state that product recalls damage their trust in the respective car brand (very) severely. In January 2012 this value was still 54 percent. “Despite the ongoing high level of awareness, Germany’s car buyers are evidently increasingly unimpressed by the recalls in the automotive industry,” commented Puls Managing Director Dr. Konrad Weßner the results.

Drivers of premium brands are comparatively critical

Furthermore, according to the study, 61 percent say that product recalls have no effect on new purchases of the affected brand. Drivers of German premium brands, however, are more critical: Of this obviously particularly demanding group, only 40 percent are unaffected by product recalls. In addition, every third person in this group states that they are still waiting to buy a vehicle from a German premium brand.

When it comes to dealing with product recalls, Germany’s motorists attribute a very good job to the automobile trade: an astonishing 79 percent of the customers affected are (very) satisfied with the implementation of the product recalls. Drivers of German premium vehicles (Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz) and Asian importers (including Toyota, Hyundai and Kia) are particularly satisfied. “Obviously, the brand dealers use recalls as an opportunity to build trust,” says Weßner.

(pulse / asc)