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New Data on Consumer Perception Shows Big Change in Rank for Car Dealers

Source: Gallup

How Does The Auto Industry Rate When Compared To Other Business Categories For Positive Consumer Perception?

Great News! (for real)

For the past 30+ years I have valiantly stood up for the auto industry as a whole, and car dealers more specifically when it comes to the many disparaging survey results and market research which showed poor results for automotive... Using the BDC standard phone call intro, "I have great news!" may actually be justified in this case. The latest consumer poll from the Gallup organization shows the auto industry has made significant improvements in consumer perception and the trend looks good for car peeps throughout the business.

Car Dealers Bend Over Backwards For Customers
We should all be delighted to know that the car business is now ranked in the top ten of all industry segments for positive consumer perception... And, in my opinion, its about time!!! No other industry that I know of will do more to satisfy a customer. Very few businesses will spend the money or assign the resources to keeping customers well treated, happy and satisfied that a car dealer is willing to do.

Is It Time To Brag?
The car business has been the butt of disparaging comments and snickers for far too many years. So to all my ADM colleagues and car peeps out there, it is time to brag a bit and share this information with the numb skulls that like to disparage the auto industry. We have always been better than that, but now we have the consumer perception that takes years to change headed in the right direction.



The computer industry enjoys the best reputation with consumers, per Gallup, with 69% having a positive view of it versus just 10% with a negative view. The resultant net rating (% positive minutes % negative) of +59 points is almost double-digits ahead of restaurants (+50), the next-highest rated. Some other industries with strong net positive perception include travel (+37), retail (+34), automotive (+27) and publishing (+20), while TV and radio (+12) and advertising and public relations (+7) sit further down the list but still in the green.

Six of the 25 industries measured have a net negative rating (more people having a negative than positive view): education (-2); the legal field (-5); healthcare (-6); pharmaceuticals (-8); oil and gas (-13); and the federal government (-13).

Calm Down and Check Out:

Consumers Still Have Little Trust in Advertising Practitioners’ Hon...

About the Data:

Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 5-9, 2015, with a random sample of 1,011 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Each industry was rated by a random subset of approximately 500 respondents. The margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.


Views: 772

Tags: Auto Industry, Consumer Perception, Customer Reviews, Gallup, Rank, Rate, Survey


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Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 28, 2015 at 12:06am

Tom and Michael, thank you for your comments... When I found this chart and saw the data it displays, I felt it merited being shared within our community of automotive professionals.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 28, 2015 at 12:00am

In regards to the comment by Jeffrey Bonnell on Friday... Yes, Jeff, I agree with you that any survey seeking to assess consumer perception of an entire industry, such as the auto industry is going to include perceptions created by multiple entities within the supply chain. But I do not think I am being "delusional" as you allege... Yes, we can all agree that cars are better built today than as little as ten years ago, and the OEM's have definitely become more accessible and willing to communicate directly with consumers... By the same token, having first hand experience at being one of those nightmarish dealers during the 80's (tossing trade-in keys on the roof, etc.) and having testified in court during a trial for unlawful imprisonment when we would not let a customer leave the dealership without buying a car, I can sincerely attest to the basic truth that car dealers as a whole treat customers better today than we did 30 years ago...

Have the improvements been enough, or even kept pace with OEM's and other retailers? Maybe yes, maybe no, but it is about time that those same stereotypes that me and my car guy brethren helped create a couple generations ago be replaced by something more in tune with the reality that every car dealer I work with today does indeed do everything possible to "do the right thing" with customers, and much more so than at any time in the past.

Yeah, there are still a few knuckleheads out there "slam dunking" there way to "killing bears" and "high grossing" the "mooches" that come onto their lots, but these are a dying breed and I (personally) haven't walked into a truly bad customer service dealership in many years.

Comment by Jeffrey Bonnell on September 25, 2015 at 7:02am

Ralph! Don't be delusional. This just has to be the case where this survey is about the entire automotive industry. It either factors retail dealers into a much broader mix that includes OEM's and other branches, or is exclusively about product.  There is amazing product available to customers today across domestic and import lines. Vehicles are packed with high technology, and competition has made reliability and maintenance a manufacturer focus. So I would wholeheartedly agree with this survey result... but definitely not for dealers. Unfortunately, dealers are still the "Steve Martin as the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors" of the retail world.

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on September 9, 2015 at 11:06am
This is cool
Comment by Michael on September 5, 2015 at 9:01pm

Wow Ralph, What a huge upswing from what you and I saw just 10 years ago. No surprise re Fed Gov't why Trump, Ben C and Carly are leading current poles! Thanks so much for this share. 

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