US Auto Brands Rate Higher than Japanese Counterparts

US Auto Brands Rate Higher than Japanese Counterparts

Top American non-luxury auto brands received higher ratings and less negative comments from online consumers than competing Japanese brands, according to an analysis of consumer opinions collected from automotive review websites by Biz360.

The research, which aggregated a year’s worth of customer reviews and comments from websites such as Auto Mall USA, Edmunds, IntelliChoice and Yahoo Autos, isolated the attributes and features most likely to be commented on by consumers and determined the factors that most influence satisfaction and purchase decisions in the automotive category. It then set out to determine which brands had more positive and negative comments and which comments were more influential overall.

Biz360 found that performance, comfort and exterior styling are the most important product attributes, and – along with general opinions – they accounted for more than 75% of all online opinions on non-luxury automobiles.

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Specific brand findings:

  • Ford and Chevrolet ranked higher on more key product attributes than did Toyota and Honda, and Ford outranked all three car companies overall in rankings across these attributes.

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  • Over the past year, Toyota vehicles received 16% more negative comments than the average of the negative comments for the four brands combined.
  • Both Ford & Chevrolet brands outranked Honda and Toyota on Biz360’s “net advocacy” measurement, which incorporates positive and negative sentiment and weight of individutal comments.

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  • Both Honda and Toyota accounted for a higher percentage of negative opinions than their two domestic counterparts.

“With the national spotlight focused on the fortunes of US automakers, we were interested in looking at consumer feedback of the most popular brands in the mid-size car category,” said Stephen Foster, senior director of analyst services at Biz360. “The results of the analysis are encouraging for these domestic brands. They indicate that certain American cars brands are considered superior to equivalent Japanese brands by consumers when they discuss the key attributes of performance, comfort & exterior styling.”

About the research: Using its proprietary Opinion Insights analytics technology, Biz360 analyzed nearly 300,000 online opinions posted between October 31, 2007 and November 1, 2008. The technology is built on advanced data aggregation and analytics techniques, including natural language processing (NLP) to enable expert and consumer review extraction and analysis across multiple brands, products, attributes and features.