Ford and Mercedes-Benz scored the highest in their class in a Cox Automotive analysis of the benefits brought to dealers by their brands.
Ford tallied four A's and two A-minuses and collected enough bonus points to outrank Toyota at the top of the nonluxury ranking. The only blemish for Mercedes on the luxury report card was an A-minus as it narrowly topped Lexus.
Cox's Retail Brand Scorecards Study, compiled in conjunction with Automotive News, measures a brand's performance primarily through surveys and online engagement on Cox-branded websites.
Cox used a classroom-style assessment in six categories to give each brand an overall grade-point average. Additional points were added and subtracted for "geographic consistency" in delivering share across market areas and the likelihood of dealers to report challenges in dealing with their manufacturers. As with students in classrooms, brands may excel in some subjects but not others. Tesla, for example, got one A-plus for the quality of its customers and another for their perception of the brand. The electric vehicle maker drew an F, however, for its product range. It also was marked down because of its geographical limits. It ranked just above Jaguar at the bottom of the luxury chart.
Mitsubishi, meanwhile, chalked up an A-minus for the newness of its products. But it finished at the bottom of the nonluxury class thanks to F's in traffic, loyalty and product range.