This is the result of a study by the Medien Tenor research institute.
The Bonn-based institute analyzed leading newspaper and TV newscasts in Germany and the U.S. between January 2003 and the end of April this year.
Nissan is currently at the top of Germany's media ranking. The Japanese corporation is the benchmark with a 62.9 percent positive evaluation.
South Korean manufacturers now have a better image than VW and DaimlerChrysler. In the past South Korean automakers were held in low esteem in western markets.
Wolfgang Stock, Medien Tenor managing director, said there had been a noticeable deterioration in the image of the German automakers since spring.
He said one reason could be that Germans are more price sensitive because of the country's poor economy and Asian automakers' cars usually cost less than those of European manufacturers.