Ford has emerged as the most trusted automotive brand in the UK in a survey gauging consumers’ reaction to the ongoing emissions scandal.

Research firm Future Thinking questioned 2,735 respondents to see which of 29 automotive brands they trusted in the wake of the discovery that the Volkswagen Group had been selling vehicles with a device to artificially reduce emissions readings during official testing.

The results of the survey saw just three brands emerge with a trust rating of over 20 per cent, with Ford recording the highest score of 29%, closely followed by BMW (27%) and Audi (25%).

Among those aged 55 and over, trust of Ford rose to 30 per cent, seven points ahead of the next favourite among the group of brands.

Lisa Bedwell, Senior Director at Future Thinking said: “The best-selling car brands for the first quarter of 2015 according to SMMT data were Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen and the success of car sales for Ford is also reflected in it being the most trusted brand, especially for older generations.

“By comparison, despite strong sales, trust in Vauxhall is certainly a lot lower and it is an indication that there is work to be done in improving their brand’s image.

“For Volkswagen where UK sales have dropped in the last month amid the emissions scandal, the level of trust is certainly now far lower than would have been expected. “Consumers are clearly re-evaluating their perceptions of the brand and it faces a difficult time re-building trust and loyalty in the coming months. Interestingly trust in the Audi brand remains strong despite the wider group being implicated in the emissions scandal.”

Jim Farley, Ford of Europe chairman and chief executive officer, said: “There is nothing more valuable to Ford than our reputation for operating ethically and legally. It’s the bedrock of our company and one of the reasons why we have been in business successfully since 1903.”

The five lowest ranked automotive brands in Future Thinking research were Skoda (5%), Seat (4%), Subaru (4%), Smart (3%) and Suzuki (3%).

Volkswagen was trusted by just 10% alongside Porsche and Volvo.

Author: Tom Sharpe, Automotive Management