While a model's brand can tell you a lot about a vehicle, sometimes the value people place in a certain automaker comes down to perception. Some automakers have definitely earned the reputation of producing cars that need very little vehicle maintenance or auto repairs, and this helps the car's value significantly. However, it can take a long time for brand perception to change, even if automakers have improved their ways.
Automotive analysis firm ALG recently unveiled its 2012 Perceived Quality Study, which revealed several notable jumps for some major brands. Honda and Toyota still topped the list, as they have for several years, but other brands have improved significantly. Since 2008, Ford's perception has improved by 37 percent, and it currently ranks fourth overall. Hyundai, once seen as a "cheap" brand, has improved by 25 percent, above the "average" automaker.
"Changing the perception of quality is a long-term proposition," said Eric Lyman, ALG's Vice President of Residual Value Solutions. "Consumers recognize the product improvements made by Ford and Hyundai. Honda and Toyota are still widely recognized as being the quality leaders, but as more consumers increasingly consider brands like Subaru, Ford and Hyundai, that perception gap erodes."