Some 42 per cent of car buyers would be less likely to purchase a Volkswagen in future, following the recent emissions data scandal.
A survey by software provider Vennli also found of those making an immediate purchase, just 4 per cent would choose a VW.
The car manufacturer recently admitted around five million VW-branded vehicles worldwide were affected by software that manipulated data to get around US emissions tests. Refitting the vehicles is expected to cost more than $6.5 billion.
Perhaps surprisingly, 2 per cent of respondents said the scandal would make them more likely to purchase a Volkswagen in future. The opinion of just over a third was unchanged, and 23 per cent were not aware of the furore.
Among those buyers who had not heard about the scandal, Volkswagen was rated equal with Toyota on factors of trustworthiness, environmentally conscious and low emissions. But those cognisant of the problems no longer associated the automaker with any of those statements.
“Volkswagen is at a pivotal moment in its history. It’s likely that the company will get only one chance to rebuild their image with consumers. They have to do it right,” the company said.
“What’s important to consumers is having trust in a car manufacturer, which will take a lot of work and commitment to rebuild. This is a brand issue, not a product-line issue. A strategic focus on increasing consumer perceptions of honesty and transparency should be the highest priority,” it said.