Takata ranks last in reputation among 100 most-visible companies in U.S.
Harris Poll says Tesla is top automaker at No. 9; VW moves up from bottom to No. 91
Takata Corp. took last place on a list ranking the reputations of the 100 most-visible companies in the U.S., landing in the “critical” score category, the Harris Poll said Tuesday.
Overall, the market-research company reported the auto industry’s reputation is improving, despite the recent Volkswagen emissions cheating and Takata airbag scandals.
Harris Poll, of Rochester, N.Y., uses its Reputation Quotient to rank the 100 most-visible companies based on U.S. consumer perception.
Consumers rank the companies in six categories: social responsibility, products and services, vision and leadership, emotional appeal, financial performance and workplace environment.
The scores rank as follows:
Excellent: 80 and above
Very good: 75-79
Very poor: 50-54
Critical: below 50
Troubled supplier Takata is expected to plead guilty on Feb. 27 to wire fraud. The company previously agreed to plead guilty in a $1 billion settlement in January, while three former executives were indicted for fraud and conspiracy.
Takata’s faulty airbag inflators are linked to at least 16 deaths worldwide. It is new to the list this year, only to score 48.7 and place last.
Takata took the place of Volkswagen, which was last in the 2016 rankings as its scandal deepened. Volkswagen ranked No. 91 on the 2017 list. A Harris Poll spokeswoman said less than half of consumers trust the automaker.
Although Volkswagen’s score of 63.46 classifies as “poor,” the automaker and Toyota Motor Corp. tied for largest overall reputation gain with an 8.7-point increase. Toyota soared from No. 63 on the list to No. 16 with a score of 80.21.
Tesla, making its debut on the list this year, took ninth place with an 81.7 score. Tesla is doing exceptionally well for how few consumers have bought or ridden in a Tesla vehicle, the Harris release said.
“What’s interesting about Tesla is that while Elon Musk undoubtedly brings a ‘celebrity CEO’ factor, it’s a company that isn’t accessible to most consumers,” said Wendy Salomon, Harris Poll’s vice president of reputation management and public affairs.
“Given this strong reputational backdrop, and that Musk has the ear of the Trump administration, Tesla will be a fascinating company to watch moving forward,” she said.
Tesla took Honda’s place as the most-reputable automotive company of 2017. Honda’s score fell from 79.16 in 2016 to 77.8 this year. It ranks No. 30 on the list.
BMW Group rose from No. 33 to No. 26 on the list. Nissan Motor Co., which was not on the 2016 list but ranked No. 57 in 2015, took No. 59 for 2017.
Ford Motor Co. ranked highest of the Detroit 3, although it fell from No. 50 in 2016 to No. 64 in 2017. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles came in at No. 73, up from No. 82 the year before. General Motors rose from No. 81 to No. 77.
Automotive improved in all six categories Harris uses to rank companies.
The auto industry increased 1.9 points in social responsibility; 2 points in emotional appeal; 1.1 points in products and services; 1.8 points in vision and leadership; 1.1 points in financial performance; and 2.2 points in workplace environment.
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