Ford Motor has pulled off a PR coup.  Consumers now rate its brand equal with that of Toyota.  Two years ago, it was 35 percentage points below Toyota.  Consumer Reports, which does the study, attributes Ford’s rise to “safety, quality and value.”   Ford’s gains came from better products, and Toyota’s decline was the result of massive recalls during 2010.  While Ford should be happy with its progress, it also should recognize that brand reputation is a slippery slope.  Two or three recalls could knock Ford back into the pack again where American manufacturers sat for decades.  Still, hats off to the auto company that did not take Federal money during the economic meltdown and moved forward on its own with new models and technologies.

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