Ford Climbs to Top of Consumer Reports Brand Survey in a Tie With Toyota

Ford Motor Co. matched Toyota Motor Corp. as the most favorably viewed auto brand by U.S. consumers in a survey released today by Consumer Reports magazine.

Ford has climbed 35 percentage points in the last two years, while Toyota has fallen 46 points, leaving the automakers “in a statistical dead heat” with scores of 144 and 147 respectively, the Yonkers, New York-based consumer magazine said. Ford excelled in “factors that consumers say matter most: safety, quality and value,” the magazine said in a statement.

Toyota declined as it recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide during the past two years. Ford, the only major U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy, topped Toyota in safety, quality, value, style and performance, the magazine said.

“Ford built on the momentum seen in last year’s study, likely the result of a model lineup with improving performance, reliability and styling,” Consumer Reports said. “The massive recalls announced by Toyota earlier this year contributed to the tarnishing of its public image as measured by the poll.”

Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted the nationwide survey Dec. 2 through Dec. 6 of 1,721 adults in households that had at least one car.

Ford rose 51 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $17.89 at 4:02 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. That was the highest closing price for the shares since May 23, 2002.

To contact the reporter on this story: Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan, at Knaughton3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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