Building Trust In The Automotive Sector: The Edelman’s 2011 Trust Barometer

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The 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer study on the trust and credibility of companies worldwide is good news for those in the automotive industry.

This is especially because the automotive industry became the second most trusted industrial sector in 2011, behind only technology. This industry has changed a lot in the last year.

It used to be one of the worst because of the global financial crisis, which caused some businesses’ sales to drop by half or even three quarters.

But what does this change mean for the automotive sector? How can businesses benefit from these results? This post discusses the challenges and potentials of the automotive sector.

The Automotive Sector: Scope, Services, And Role

What does the automotive sector have to do with Edelman Trust Barometer? Let's find out

The term “automotive industry” describes all the businesses and actions that go into making cars, including the engines and bodywork but not the tires, batteries, or gas.

Construction and creation are both parts of the automobile industry.

The United Kingdom is a major participant in this business worldwide. It is the world’s number-two manufacturer of high-end automobiles behind Germany.

People need cars to go to places like grocery stores, hospitals, and workplaces. Almost all road trips result in a monetary or non-monetary improvement to our standard of living.

Regarding the ability to stimulate global economic expansion, no other sector compares to the automotive sector. The automotive sector in the United States earned $1.249 trillion in 2020.

Furthermore, it contributes 3% to the U.S. gross domestic product. The United States sold more than 14 billion automobiles and light trucks in 2020.

Trust In The Industry

Since expressing the truth in the workplace is an impossibility due to the nature of conducting business in a competitive market where knowledge may directly correlate with a competitive advantage, some businesses feel the need to censor internal communications and make them seem as general as possible.

Unfortunately, more often than not, people see communication more like a chore than a power they should learn to master.

Congruence is the foundation of trust or stating what you will do and executing what you say.

Another common concept is transparency, which does not always entail being completely open and honest with everyone. It’s indeed hard to monitor every employee’s speech.

However, more businesses realize the importance of cultivating and maintaining a consistent spirit and tone than the specific words spoken.

Spokespeople, specialists, and leaders must filter through the media noise and synthesize a reality that the public can subsequently use to authenticate other claims.

It’s fascinating that CEOs, third parties, corporate executives, and industry experts have communication roles.

The Importance Of Trust

Since Wall Street’s inception in the early 1800s, confidence in business dealings has grown mostly via formalized systems.

Trust was signaled by outward manifestations of prosperity and growth, such as a fancy headquarters, a worldwide presence, or a national TV advertising campaign.

Similarly, institutions devised means to give assurances between unrelated parties, such as contracts and insurance.

Convincing many people to believe in the unknown is the essence of building trust in institutions.

Institutional trust was efficient and crucial before the advent of modern networked technologies like online markets, networks, and platforms.

However, trust in institutions has been eroded due to several high-profile business disasters.

One need only recall the BP oil disaster, Dieselgate, the Sony data breach, the bursting of the housing bubble, the consequent drop in stock prices, and data breaches at the retail chain, the internet giant Yahoo, and the athletic apparel company Nike.

According to Edelman, only around a third of customers are highly confident in the companies they purchase from. The public’s faith in the news media is also on the slide.

Increased use of online markets, platforms, and other linked technology has occurred with a general decrease in people’s faith in established authorities.

The Automotive Sector

Incredibly, the automotive sector is only in the second position. The indicator suggests that the sector has recovered about half the confidence it lost in previous years.

The industry increased 17 points in value in the United States.

Gary Grates, president of Edelman, attributes some of this uptick to the fact that the public notices the effort put into correcting its inadequacies.

This is due to the company’s commitment to change in capacity, reliability, and competitive pay.

Employment participation has also enhanced since 1 out of every 5 new employment is in the automobile industry.

Insights On The New Business Change

Customers’ top criteria for evaluating a company remain the same as they were a few years ago: product quality, honesty, reliability, and respect for workers.

Leadership and financial success rank last on the list of priorities. Therefore, trust and reputation must become the new potent currency.

This is evident as companies recover from the avalanche of trust crises over the last decade. They attempted to rebuild customer confidence, refresh the economy, and move ahead.

An interesting finding from Edelman’s study was the decline in trust in developed countries, contrary to developing countries.

This may be because consumers in the West have a wider variety of options than those in developing countries. Still, this greater selection comes with the risk of information overload.

Openness Serving The Automotive Sector

With Ford’s hiring of new staff, the company has altered its communication with its consumers and involved tens of thousands of people in the most engaging campaigns of 2010.

The automobile industry has fully embraced social media to maintain a connection with its vehicle purchasers.

Volkswagen and Mini Cooper are two more noteworthy businesses using social media to gain client trust, loyalty, and credibility.

This is why establishing credibility is such a valuable strategic asset.

To a large extent, trust has become the most important commodity today. It’s the backbone of every single buying choice.

Since trust refers to having faith in the unknown, your car-buying experience at the dealership is unknown in this context.

Why Media Is The Missing Piece

There are a few things to do if you want to earn the trust of your consumer base.

You must, above all things, provide consistent quality in terms of both the items and the services you provide. You must get consumer insights and build an identity for your brand.

That identity should be founded on transparency and quality in an ideal world. These are the characteristics that customers find most appealing in any company.

By demonstrating openness and honesty, media may help businesses earn more customers’ confidence and boost their reputations.

For instance, if a client’s vehicle would not start and they bring it to the dealership for service, the client’s mistrust may prevent them from agreeing to pay for the appropriate repair.

Since it makes the client feel as if their opinion matters, video technology that enables the technician to create a recording of the problem and display it to the customer in its precise form is excellent, this is exactly why using videos is so very vital.

When customers are made to feel validated in this manner, it gives them the confidence to make the best choices for themselves, which, in the long run, is the most important factor in regaining consumers’ trust in the industry.

Challenges Of The Automotive Sector

If you want to know why the automobile business is so cutthroat, look no further than the competition.

Quality and safety-related requirements have gotten more severe across the world. Hence, it is essential to use high-quality raw materials to produce excellent automobiles.

This is why supply chain management-related brand names compete for customers’ attention.

Quickly recovering from the COVID-19 epidemic, road vehicles and components retail trade now generates over $1.5 trillion in annual revenue.

However, the sector is facing difficulties due to the worldwide scarcity of automotive chips, and the monthly inventory-to-sales ratio has been falling steadily since April 2020.


The automotive industry gains the most from this shift because it has been forced into increased transparency.

Due to the recent economic crisis, the sector has embraced social media as a more powerful tool for building loyal customer connections and the best chance for everyone to help the planet and their community by switching to more sustainable choices for modes of transportation.

Automotive’s current ranking at second in Edelman’s industrial sector league is only the beginning. Over the next couple of years, the industry should strive to achieve the top place.

The key to being successful in this industry is to put in the time to develop meaningful connections with your clientele.

Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship, which has not altered because of the market.

However, how customers define trust is something that is always changing. Trust and openness are the new consumer currency, and we explained why in detail.

Taking action in this manner is a concrete method to gain consumers’ trust right now. This will help you keep your existing customers and attract new ones, boosting your bottom line.