More than two weeks after its diesel rigging became known to the public and brought Volkswagen to its lowest consumer perception levels in several years, the car maker is showing early signs of stabilization in the U.S., Germany and the U.K.
When Toyota was hit with its own global recall crisis in 2010, it also experienced a similar slowdown a few weeks after its perception plunged deeply. However, Toyota took more than a year to recover. It is too early to predict how long it might take VW to regain its former perception levels.
Volkswagen and Toyota’s consumer perception was measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, 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?"
A Buzz score can range of -100 to 100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. Example: A score of 35 means that 35% more people said they were positive than negative about the brand. All scores reflect adults 18 and over.
On September 29th, Volkswagen’s U.S. Buzz score seemed to bottom out at -46, 19 points shy of Toyota’s lowest mark. VW is now hovering at -40. Both Germany and the UK fell even further than the U.S., and are showing similar signs of slowing their descent.