MarketingWeek: BMW brand image slides after safety recall

Interesting | October 7th, 2010 by 7
bmw logo engine

Story of the week in the automotive world came from an important recall issued by BMW. BMW of North America submitting a letter to the …

Story of the week in the automotive world came from an important recall issued by BMW.

BMW of North America submitting a letter to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) this week announcing a voluntary recall of approximately 198,000 V8 and V12-powered BMW 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars models produced between the 2002 and 2010 model years.

In the affected vehicles, a leak may develop in the power braking system, potentially causing a vacuum loss and consequent reduction of power braking assistance. Mechanical braking is still available to slow and stop the vehicle. There has been no report of accidents or injuries.

According to Marketing Week, an expected decline in BMW’s brand perception has occurred. The recall of hundreds of thousands of vehicles due to a braking problem, led to a rating slide in brand’s image.

bmw logo engine

YouGov Brand Index data shows that the German car manufacturer’s Buzz rating, a measure of whether a person has heard a positive or negative statement about the brand, slumped to -4 on October 4th, from a 9.8 on 30 September, the day before the recall.

BMW says there have been no reports of accidents or injuries in relation to its decision to recall 10,522 vehicles in the UK and, reportedly, 200,000 in North America.

The recall involves BMW 5 Series, 6 Series and 7 Series vehicles powered by V8 and V12 engines from the 2002-2010 model years and certain Rolls-Royce cars from the 2003-2010 model years.

Same magazine states that despite the recalls, BMW has no plans to produce an awareness campaign and that all affected owners will be contacted individually.

As soon as the recall news hit the frontpage of many journals, marketing specialists began to compare the impact on the brand with the fiasco Toyota went through this year. Toyota has been working hard to restore their brand reputation, as well as regaining customers’ trust, and recent sales numbers are positive.

Compared to Toyota, BMW’s recall is likely to have significant less impact on the brand. Toyota’s recalls affected millions of vehicles worldwide, while the BMW and Roll-Royce recall affects fewer than 200,000 cars.

Another major differentiation between the recalls come from the type of issues encountered in the vehicles recalled. BMW’s recall is based on a possible leak in the power braking system that educes the amount of help the power brakes give the driver. Toyota’s recalls revolved around unintended acceleration.

In the next months, we expect to see more surveys and feedback being collected by marketing campaign, therefore, a more complete and fair analysis will become available.