Man, did we ever see this coming. While brand erosion's been a problem for American automakers since the 1970s, their latest bout with employee pricing caused all three of the Big Two-and-a-Half to take a hit in the cred department, according to a survey by badly-branded brand researcher Branddimensions. The issues at hand? Perception that the vehicles being offered at a discount weren't of the quality of non-discounted vehicles from foreign lands.
Or maybe, once they were hired, they became suspicious of their fellow employees, felt they were doing the lion's share of the work, and then were summarily laid off with the rest of the schmoes, despite their obvious intrinsic value to the corporation. Genuinely enraged, they've now vowed never again to buy another vehicle from said company again now that they've seen how it's run from the inside. That's just a theory, though.
DCX's Chrysler division fared the best of the three, which isn't surprising, given that the LX cars have been a huge hit and they weren't trying to unload end-of-cycle SUVs in the midst of a gas crunch. Plus, although we're worried that it's reached the saturation point, "Hemi" has a buzz with the general public that "small block" and "modular V8" just can't match.
Branding Backfire [Forbes]
The Hemi Hits the Million Mark [Internal]