Survey: Ford least, Toyota most trusted brand

Written by:
Julie Walker
November 5, 2023

A Kerrigan Dealer Survey shows auto dealers lack trust in some domestic brands, but their outlook on the industry is positive for 2024.

Nearly half of dealers queried by dealership sell-side firm Kerrigan Advisors indicate they have no trust in Ford Motor Co., making it the least trustworthy brand, while nearly three-quarters of those same dealers find Toyota the most trustworthy.

About 650 dealers were anonymously queried from June to October for the 2023 Kerrigan Dealer Survey, the firm’s fifth annual study. The trust question debuted this year, Erin Kerrigan, the firm’s managing director, told Automotive News, following conversations it had with dealers about not trusting automakers on the rollout of electric vehicles and how some manufacturers are approaching their desire to have direct relationships with consumers.

Forty-eight percent of dealers said they have no trust in Ford and Kerrigan Advisors found that outcome “consistent with the expectation of a decline in future Ford franchise profitability due to the OEM’s EV/future retailing strategy.”

Kerrigan Advisors thinks that the negative sentiment regarding Ford revealed in the findings could impact the franchise’s future blue sky values, which is the value of a dealership including goodwill.


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About Kerrigan Advisors

Kerrigan Advisors is the premier sell-side advisor and thought partner to auto dealers nationwide. The firm advises the industry's leading dealership groups, enhancing value through the lifecycle of growing, operating and, when the time is right, selling their businesses. Kerrigan Advisors has represented some of auto retail's largest transactions and advised more of the largest dealership groups in the US than any other buy/sell firm in the industry. Led by a team of veteran industry experts with backgrounds in investment banking, private equity, accounting, finance and real estate, the firm does not take listings, rather they develop a customized approach for each client to achieve their personal and financial goals. In addition to Kerrigan Advisors' sell-side advisory and capital raising services, the firm also provides a suite of consulting services including growth strategy, market valuation assessments, capital allocation, transactional due diligence, open point proposals, operational improvement and real estate due diligence.

Kerrigan Advisors monitors conditions in the buy/sell market and publishes an in-depth analysis each quarter in The Blue Sky Report®, which includes Kerrigan Advisors' signature blue sky charts, multiples, and analysis for each franchise in the luxury and non-luxury segments.—To download a preview of the report, click here.—The firm also releases monthly The Kerrigan Index™ composed of the seven publicly traded auto retail companies with operations focused on the US market. The Kerrigan Auto Retail Index is designed to track dealership valuation trends, while also providing key insights into factors influencing auto retail.—To access The Kerrigan Index™, click here.—To read the—2023 Kerrigan OEM Survey, click here.—Kerrigan Advisors also is the co-author of NADA's Guide to Buying and Selling a Dealership.

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