Consumer trust in transportation brands has shifted over the past three years in a few key ways.

Average net trust in auto manufacturers, such as Ford and Chevrolet, has slowly slipped from its highs in early 2018. Consumer trust in car rental companies, such as Hertz and Enterprise, has similarly slipped since 2018, tumbling more amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when many consumers were put off by sharing products and services with others.

Trust in ride-hailing services, such as Uber and Lyft, grew in 2018 as the platforms became more popular, before slipping again in 2019 amid allegations of internal gender discrimination and as consumer raised questions about employee treatement. But the pandemic does not appear to have negatively impacted consumer trust in ride-hailing services.

Average net trust by industry

American and Japanese auto brands have earned the most consumer trust in 2021, with General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors itself earning spots in the top 10 most trusted transportation brands, along with Toyota Motor Co., Subaru and Honda Motor Co.

Notably, only one luxury brand (Mercedes-Benz) appears in the top ten most trusted brands.


Ford is the most-owned brand among the U.S. public, with 62 percent of respondents reporting they have at one point owned the brand. Ford is also the “stickiest” brand, with the highest share of people saying they’ve owned several cars from the brand.

Respondents were asked if they currently own or lease a car from each of the following brands

The August 17-26, 2021 survey was conducted among 4,398 U.S. adults and holds a margin of error of 1 percent.


Ford has the most return customers, but three brands should be on the lookout for customer retention: Stellantis N.V.’s Chrysler and Dodge, along with General Motors’ Buick, have the largest gaps between former owners and return customers. On the flip side, Toyota and Honda are the only two car brands with more return customers than former owners, meaning they’ve created strong enough experiences with customers to have them coming back for more. (Ford has as many return customers as former owners.)

Up Next: The Current State of Consumer Trust in Auto & Mobility

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