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Honda, Mercedes: Top car brands?

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Honda and Mercedes-Benz are the top car brands, according to a new study by Harris Interactive. More than 38,500 Americans responded to the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend Automotive Scorecard, which assessed brand equity among automakers as well as online auto shopping sites, automotive service centers, motor oil, tires, navigation systems and motorcycles.

Honda ended up on top in the full-line automaker category. Toyota rose in the rankings from last year, placing second for 2012, followed by Ford, which dropped from first in 2011. Interestingly, Ford's equity score actually increased over last year, though it was still bested by Honda and Toyota. Equity scores between the three brands were very close: 62.55 (Honda), 62.51 (Toyota) and 62.10 (Ford). Rounding out the top five were Chevrolet (61.95) and Nissan (57.29).

In the luxury auto brand category, Mercedes-Benz held onto the top spot for the second year in a row with an equity score of 61.02, followed by BMW at 58.71 and Lexus at 58.40. Cadillac was a very close fourth, with an equity score of 58.39, followed by Acura in fifth at 56.32.

Consumers' perception of quality and their interest in buying a car from one of these brands affects the rankings, according to Harris Interactive.

Top brands in other categories in the poll include Kelley Blue Book (online auto shopping), Napa AutoCare Center (automotive service center), Bose (new car audio), Pennzoil (motor oil), Michelin (tires), Garmin (GPS navigation) and Yamaha (motocycles).

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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July 04, 2012 at 3:27 am

Jam - my response to you. 1) percentages. Toyota makes and sells more cars than the others. A large number but smaller percentage may be part of the story. 2) Kind of recall. My Toyota 4Runner was recalled for clearance on the gas pedal. Potentially a big issue, but looking at it myself, with the full thick rubber floor matts on top of the carpeted ones that came with it still had plenty of clearance. My Accord air bag recall, 3 times for the same issue, on three separate recalls is a different story. And then there were the Fords I owned that didn't have so many recalls, but should have! Brakes that self destructed at 36k miles on both Explorer and Expedition. Not worn mind you, self destructed. Rusting brackets on roof racks at 38k miles. Transmissions. Turn signals. Seats. They may be better now but I have had enough.

July 03, 2012 at 11:48 pm

most cars sold in the US are assembled in Canada.

July 03, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Follow the profits to the country that the company is based in, no matter where the product is built. For Ford and GM, that is in the United States. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia, and other Asian auto companies may produce vehicles in the U.S.A. but the big profits go back to their mother countries to support the people there. The low-paying jobs are also in the USA but the high paying positions are held by Asians in their respective countries. So when Ford or Cadillac are producing vehicles in Mexico, the profits come back to support the U.S. Many companies worldwide are producing where they sell, but the profits come back to the country where the corporate headquarters are located.

July 03, 2012 at 10:42 pm

How does Toyota do it -- remains in top rankings even though it had, and is still having recalls. The most worldwide of all the auto companies.

July 02, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Take a close look at the Infiniti product. The M37x is a car to be looked at. The interior appointments are second to none and so is the ride. The exterior is aggressive and sporty. The G series is not to shabby either and should be looked at right along side the BMW 3 series as well as the Audi 4.

July 01, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Consumer Reports tells a different story!

David Gaskins
July 01, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Mercedes & BMW may rate good but who can sit in those hard seats more than 20 miles.

July 01, 2012 at 12:55 pm

The Cadillac SRX is built in Mexico

July 01, 2012 at 12:12 pm

the less recall is the better car co.

July 01, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hodo you buy an American made car? The ford fusion is built inMexico