No, Tesla Is Not The Most Trusted Brand After Audi – Forbes

“Elon Musk’s missionary strength is not all what counts.” (Picture: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

I need to write this story as quickly as possible. It’ll probably be too late anyway. Once Tesla’s Twitter army wakes up, we’ll hear again and again that Tesla is the number two most trusted auto brand in Germany. Oops, it’s already starting. It sure does. The problem is, it’s not true. Utter bunk. My initials.

Yesterday, Zachary Shahan wrote in Cleantechnica (of which he is director and chief editor,” in addition to his duties as president of an empire of greentech blogs with the anticipatory name “Important Media”) that behind Audi, Tesla is the second-most trusted auto brand in Germany.

Not so subliminal message: We know that all Germans are car nuts. Autobahn, Autobahn, Autobahn. If ze Germans trust Tesla more than beloved BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen, surely Tesla’s utter domination of the failing legacy carmakers can only be a matter of seconds.

If it only were true.

BrandTrust GmbH handout

A ranking of resilience, not of trust

The problem of the faked news is that the study cited by Cleantechnica does not measure trust in a brand. The study with the hackish “Resilienz” name measures a brand’s resilience, in other words, it gauges the thickness of the Teflon coating that protects a brand from undue harm, no matter how bad the news. Would the study rate sitting presidents, Donald Trump would probably be number one on the resilience scale, never mind that he is getting slaughtered in the trust ranking.

The term “brand resilience” was coined by Deloitte’s Jonathan R. Copulsky in a same-named book (buy it here from $1.25 used.) Brand resilience is about how to survive under fire, how to get away with scandal after scandal. By that yardstick, Tesla is aptly ranked. Elon Musk can get away with missing deadline after deadline. Everybody needs profits to survive, Tesla doesn’t. A deadly Autopilot accident would cause other automakers to be dragged over the coals of congressional hearings, Tesla barely gets a finger-wagging. That’s resilience. Forget the Tesla bubble: The Tesla brand is bubble-wrapped.

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