The survey is based on the responses of thousands of new car buyers in the U.S. over the past 12 months and focuses on how consumers perceive and rank car brands – not on how the vehicles actually perform themselves. The study delves into how each manufacturer's brand equity differs across vehicle segments, compares the relative standing of each make versus competitive makes, and reveals the decision factors of new-vehicle buyers within each make and segment.
Researchers cite the increased number of new models and significant redesigns for Audi and Cadillac as well as increased marketing efforts as the key reasons for the improvement in brand perception.
Cadillac's CTS and STS have recently been responsible for a big jump in that brand's perception, both in terms of quality and capability. Audi's R8 has performed as a halo vehicle for the brand, especially in the U.S., where it has been very warmly received.