Two Missouri hackers’ well-publicized remote control hijack of a Jeep Cherokee sent the vehicle into a ditch, yet it has barely put a dent in Jeep’s consumer perception so far.
Jeep has shown a lot more consumer perception strength over the past three years than its parent Chrysler, which seems to be feeling the brunt of a record $105 million fine for mishandling 23 recalls. While Chrysler currently has its lowest consumer perception levels in more than 10 months, Jeep has three times better perception, putting them at or above the domestic automaker sector average.
Jeep has also had the upper hand with consumers considering buying their vehicles over its parent’s nameplate, as measured by YouGov BrandIndex’s Purchase Consideration metric. Both brands had an inflection point in fall 2013, after Chrysler blinked in a face-off with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, relenting to their request to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty trucks.
Perhaps powered by post-recall relief, Jeep went from 10% of consumers saying they’d consider buying one the next time they were in the market for a car, to 12%, where it has remained until now. While that remains slightly below where the domestic automaker sector average currently is at 13%, Chrysler has wavered between 8% and 9% over the past two years.
YouGov BrandIndex used its Buzz score to determine consumer perception, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"