Preference for US Autos Goes Up and Down for Asian

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

“An Associated Press-GfK Poll shows that 38 percent favor U.S. vehicles while 33 percent prefer Asian brands, a significant improvement for U.S. automakers compared to four years ago. (In a December 2006 AP-AOL poll, 46 percent said Asian countries made superior cars, while just 29 percent said American automakers did.)” Read the article.

There undoubtedly are multiple reasons for this. For instance, US automakers are making more cars that people want. But, it is interesting that the survey  seems to indicate that preference for all Asian autos has lessened because of the Toyota crisis.

This is what I call Level 3 resistance in action. You may find yourself in a situation where what you build or offer is good. People like it. They like you and then something happens in your industry. Even though your company is trustworthy and enjoys a good reputation, overall bias can have an impact on how people view  you. People tend to lump things into categories: US cars, Asian cars, European cars.

In our rational moments, we realize that there could be big differences among the cars made in any one geographic region. But the non-rational part of the mind doesn’t make decisions that way. It makes snap unconscious decisions.

Much of my work in organizational change focuses on Level 3 trust and distrust, so stories like this one catch my eye. I’d love to hear your thoughts.