Carmakers' Greenness In Blogs

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In the “Contenders” quadrant were those brands with favorable images that got less play on the blogs. Surprisingly, Nissan appeared here—seemingly due to its plans to launch a fully electric vehicle—as well as clean diesel stalwarts Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. In fact, Nissan had the highest overall perception rating—56 percent favorable—of any brand, including Honda (53 percent) and Toyota (46 percent). They must be doing something right.

Despite its long history of hybrids, including the Escape Hybrid SUV, Ford was the sole occupant of the “Emerging” category—a polite name that translates to “lots of talk about the brand, but not so much of it favorable.” Doering suggested that, in light of recent publicity around the financial pressures on US carmakers, commentators are increasingly concerned that Ford (and others) simply may not have enough money to research, design, and launch advanced vehicles.

Finally, the “Challenged” quadrant included BMW, Dodge, Chrysler, Hummer (no shock there), and a surprise: Chevrolet. The flip side of GM’s positive showing, apparently, is that the Chevrolet bowtie badge on the Volt hasn’t sunk in yet. (It’s worth noting that the survey was done well before yesterday’s announcement about Chrysler’s EV plans.)

And what of the 27 other car brands sold in the States? The volume of comments about them was so low that they didn’t make the cut at all.

One final note: Doering cautioned carmakers that ethanol is not viewed nearly as well as it may have been a few years ago. Of all solutions offered to address environmental and sustainability issues, it had the lowest positive rating (31 percent) and the highest negatives (55 percent).

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  • Bryce

    This is really interesting. Funny that GM, not essentially a brand, did better than Chevrolet, it’s staple brand. Also ironic is that GM did better than Toyota in an online environment that often seems to deride them. I am happy to see Honda take top honors, cuz it certainly seems they deserve it. : )

  • mdensch

    They did an analysis of 40 million Internet blogs and are calling it scientific research???

    Postings on Internet blogs are about as meaningful as graffiti. (And, yes, I recognize the irony of making such a comment on just such a site.)

  • Garret

    I agree that this may not be scientific, but it definitely gives marketers an insight into how effective it is to talk about cars that are in the making. GM pushes so many green cars that will not come out for awhile and it seems to be working.

  • VJ

    I’m surprise that GM got this much recognition. I think it’s all due to their PR stunt. Even their hybrids cars are no way close to Honda or Toyota in MPG. How can you advertise heavily and claim the credit on being Green on something (VOLT) that are still not available to the public?

  • Arizona Auto Insurance

    I am a bit surprised no one has yet suggested that at some point vehicles can no longer be manufactured with steel. The way of the future is for vehicles to be smaller, which means we need less weight in cars.

  • Judy 5722

    if anyone needs a beginners reference article for hybrid cars, i found a pretty easy-to-read one on

  • Maxy

    It’s really interesting. It certainly gives marketers insight into how effective it is to talk about cars that are in the pipeline. New Cars