Tesla cracks top 5 in Consumer Reports brand perception survey
Toyota is No. 1, followed by Ford, Honda, Chevy
Tesla displaced Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz unit to place among the top 5 brands in Consumer Reports' latest brand perception survey. Vehicle owners ranked brand attributes including quality, safety, value, design and technology.
LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Motors Inc. ranks in the top five brands among people surveyed by Consumer Reports, another accolade from the magazine that rates Tesla's Model S electric vehicle among the best cars it's ever tested.
Tesla was fifth in the poll, up from 11th last year, behind namesake brands of Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. as well as General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet, the magazine said today. The results are from a December survey of 1,578 vehicle owners asked to rank brand attributes including quality, safety, value, design and technology.
"Consumers are influenced by word of mouth, marketing and hands-on experience," Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor, said in a statement. "Perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media."
A surge in Tesla shares began in May, after the California-based company led by billionaire Elon Musk reported its first quarterly profit and Consumer Reports the next day gave the $71,000 battery-powered Model S a score matching the highest ever given to any vehicle. The magazine said in November that the Model S also topped its owner satisfaction poll, amid a review of the car by U.S. regulators after two crash-related battery fires.
Tesla shares rose 0.9 percent to $178.73 on Tuesday in New York trading. The shares have tripled in value since May 8, the day before Consumer Reports published its Model S review.
The brand named for inventor Nikola Tesla got 88 points in the latest survey, up from 47 last year, ranking highly for "innovation, performance, and sleek styling," Consumer Reports said. The company displaced Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz, which fell to seventh from fifth last year.
Toyota widened its lead in the survey, gaining five points to 145, to place ahead of Ford, which got 120, the magazine said. Honda slipped from second to third with 109 points, down 16 from a year ago, while Chevrolet gained 13 for a total of 105 points. Subaru, the auto brand of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., rose to sixth in the survey with 87 points from 13th a year earlier, the magazine said.
Volvo Cars, the Swedish brand owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., ranked eighth, down from sixth, followed by GM's Cadillac and the BMW brand. Chrysler Group LLC's Dodge and Hyundai Motor Co.'s namesake brand both fell out of the top 10, the magazine said.
The lowest-ranked brands were Jaguar and Land Rover, British luxury lines owned by India's Tata Motors Ltd., and Fiat's Maserati, according to Consumer Reports.
Tesla is scheduled to release fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 19. Analysts on average estimate the company will post a profit, excluding some costs, of 18 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The net loss may narrow to $2.4 million, or 2 cents a share, while sales may more than double to $668.6 million.