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Model: Model A
Sun City, California, United States
YouGov's mid-year Brand Index rankings of America's best perceived brands has been released, and Ford has found its way to the top. The Dearborn, Michigan based manufacturer beat out online shopping giant Amazon, The History Channel, and home improvement superstore Lowe's, to take the top spot.
Ford jumped from sixth overall in 2012 to first for 2013, but those that have been watching these rankings shouldn't be hugely surprised. Ford was rated the best perceived automotive manufacturer by the same organization last year. The Blue Oval's success on the overall brand rankings is made all the more impressive by the complete lack of other automakers on the list.
YouGov (that is, survey respondents) cited Ford's first quarter of 2013 business, which saw an increase in market share and the best earnings recorded in over 10 years. Successfully launching the Focus and Fusion (pictured) and keeping them fresh in the minds of consumers has also contributed to Ford's best overall score.
There was more than a bit of public indigence following the recent story of Enterprise Rent-A-Car billing a customer $47,000 to replace a Ford Mustang GT Convertible stolen from a Nova Scotia lot. To recap: Kristen Cockerill rented the Mustang for two days, returned it to the lot on a Sunday and left the keys in a secure dropbox only for Enterprise employees to find the car gone the next day.
Despite Enterprise policies stating that customers are responsible for vehicles dropped on off-days, the company has admitted that the situation could've been handled a bit better.
In a recent statement, Enterprise has backed off the big-bill story, and claims to be working with Cockerill and her insurance company to resolve the issue. Further, the Enterprise general manager overseeing Nova Scotia has spoken with the harried renter, and apologized "for the way this claim was handled during the last few months."
Ford is recalling 6,308 units of the 2012 and 2013 Focus Electric and 2013 Focus ST that were fitted with HID headlights because a "wiring incompatibility" could keep the front side marker lights from working. A bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the recall should begin in the middle of this month, after which owners can take their cars to dealers to have the wiring assembly repaired free of charge.
You can find more information in the NHTSA bulletin posted below.