Tesla is Canada's Most Trusted Car Brand, Despite Autopilot Controversy

Sep 23, 2016 06:22 AM EDT | Julie Bedas

Tesla is Canada's Most Trusted Auto Manufacturing Company

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 10: The Tesla logo is displayed inside of the new Tesla flagship facility on August 10, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Tesla is opening a 65,000 square foot store, its largest retail center to date. The facility will offer sales and service of Tesla's electric car line.

(Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

2016 isn't such a good year for Tesla with two reported separate deaths involving the Model S allegedly due to the autopilot system. But apparently, not everyone has become wary of the company - the EV manufacturer is actually Canada's most trusted brand.

What's even more surprising about this finding is that Tesla sold far fewer cars in Canada than any other major car company. Since its market introduction in the country in 2013, the company only delivered a total of 4,500 vehicles.

The results were according to University of Victoria's second-annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI). The study ranked 276 national brands subdivided into 27 industry sectors based on a survey measuring consumers' level of trust, The Globe and Mail reports.

The top 10 brands were mostly food and outdoor retailers. There were 17 car companies that made it to the list. Tesla ranked eleventh and was the most trusted auto company, followed by Honda at number 14. The next automotive company to appear was at 53, which was Mercedes-Benz. Tesla also ranked third as the most trusted brand according to people under 35. It was only beaten by Ikea and Band-aid.

Here's what Gustavson School of Business dean, Saul Klein, has to say about it: "We think there's a shift taking place: In many ways we choose brands that provide their basic functions well, that are reliable, value for money, whatever," he said.

He added: "What's important to consumers is the extent to which the brand or the company is acting to a broader value perspective: respects the environment, treats employees well, invests in the community and cares about societal well-being."

Electrek recalled how Canadians were really keen to the brand. When Tesla announced that reservations will be available on all its stores, some of its longest lines were at Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. This is not an indicator of the brand's global sales, however, it seems Tesla has found its most loyal customers in Canada

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