SCANDAL IMPACTS AUTO INDUSTRY REPUTATION
The Reputation Institute's most reputable automotive companies of 2016 sees BMW keep top spot while Volkswagen's scores plummet.
Among the top flight, British manufacturers Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover held the second and third position, with a bitter fallout for fellow German giants, Volkswagen.
The ranking system, better known as the Global RepTrak 100, measures reputation across various dimensions, scoring them from 0-100. RepTrak considers innovation, workplace, leadership, and performance as just a number of the contributing factors towards reputability.
This year's top ranking saw BMW, Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover, and Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) score above 80 on the RepTrak scale, with Japanese manufacturers Honda, Toyota, and Nissan all scoring respectable 70's.
Despite its globally-renowned technology, Volkswagen's depleted score of 55.3 comes at a highly publicised cost. Finishing just behind reigning leaders BMW in last year's Reputation Institute rankings, VW's position took a substantial knock in the wake of its recent emissions scandal. Known as the 'diesel dupe', the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered in late 2015 that VW was cheating emissions tests in U.S. through a 'defeat device' present in 11m of its manufactured cars. Since then, Volkswagen's RepTrak ranking fell from 'excellent' to 'weak' in the space of a year.
For BMW Group, its recent successes are punctuated by further cross-sector triumphs, finishing behind Lego and IKEA in RepTrak's 'most reputable companies in the UK', with Aston Martin ranking 6th.
Kasper Ulf Nielsen, executive partner at Reputation Institute, believes that, "It is crucial for others to learn that a lack of honesty can have a greater impact on reputation than the quality of products you make ever could." He continues, "The reputation of any company is as strong as the public's trust in it." Regarding corporate strategy, Nielsen adds, "Impact reputation has on business success is massive, which is why the leading companies in the world are managing and measuring this asset in a systematic way."
RI's RepTrak tool is the world's largest and most comprehensive study of corporate reputations, with its research also expanding into further geographical considerations such as Country RepTrak and City RepTrack.