Scandals like those on Wall Street in 2008 killed consumer trust in financial companies. Until recently, the automotive industry has been at the opposite end of the spectrum – cars have become cheaper; technology in them more advanced; and personal contracts have transformed the way we buy them.

The relationship between car buyer and carmaker was a close and happy one.

Now, a betrayal – an automotive scandal on the scale of the financial busts years ago. Will the repercussions be the same? And what can the rest of the industry do to keep a trusted image with car buyers?

The reaction

We’re already seeing car manufacturers publicly announce that they’re not fudging the numbers. Likewise, we’re seeing the ones under the VW umbrella announcing that they have.

But will people write off a car brand because someone in its boardroom made some bad decisions? We’ll see on the 6th of October, as figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders give us the first indication of whether or not the Volkswagen emissions scandal has dented sales of its diesel engine cars in the UK.

Will people write off a car brand because someone in its boardroom made some bad decisions? - Highlight to share -

If so, there will no doubt be some panic from the German company – but while they may be staring into the proverbial abyss, the rest of the industry have some sweet talking to do.

Financial companies earned no sympathy from the population because they were perceived to have no respect for the people that trusted them with their money. Car brands purport to be all about the customer – now’s the time to show it.

All about the customer

A car purchase is generally based on two things: trust in the brand and reliability of the vehicle. If the first one doesn’t exist, nobody will believe the second – so that trust needs to come from somewhere else.

A car purchase is generally based on two things: trust in the brand and reliability of the vehicle. - Highlight to share -

A driver disillusioned with the brand or the industry will still have a relationship with their vehicle. Making these drivers the basis of the brand, and not the same corporate messages that people have been seeing over their news channels in the last few weeks, is the answer. There exists the safety net that Wall Street wished it had.

Subscribers get our content first Plus exclusive stuff and plenty of good vibes.
Give it a try — it only takes a click to unsubscribe.
Is this the end of trust for the automotive industry?