Automotive sector underappreciated by public

Automotive sector underappreciated by public

The automotive sector is underappreciated, according to a new study by Portland.

It's first every Total Value Index launched today, measures the value that organisations create, analysing nine sectors, on a range of measures including profits and dividends, R&D levels, employee diversity and satisfaction, records on corporate tax and the environment. It also tests the findings against how an external informed audience, including journalists, policymakers, business leaders, academics and influential consumers, thinks the different sectors are doing and why.

Despite the industry's ambitious plans to improve the environment with electric cars, the Index found the automotive industry lags behind other sectors such as banks, pharma, real estate and technology in the total value it brings to the economy and society.

The research found there was a large gap between the actual value the industry creates and the perceived value. The main negative drivers for this perception were issues relating to pollution, scepticism about the future of mobility and squeezed profit margins. Additionally, job uncertainties, largely caused by Brexit disruption, and the emissions scandal have negatively affected how the industry is perceived as an employer and corporate citizen.

'Our Total Value Index shows the automotive industry has some way to go to demonstrate the value it brings to society,' said Sam Ingleby, senior partner and head of corporate at Portland. 'The industry has been held back by a series of negative stories over recent years. It is possible to turn this perception around, as demonstrated by the banking industry who have promoted themselves as employers and citizens to improve their overall standing.

'At the same time, the sector faces fierce competition from technology companies which are entering the electric car market. Automotive businesses must demonstrate their value as innovators to show the industry is at the forefront of this transition.

'The industry must address this perception gap to strengthen their reputation with the stakeholders who matter.'