Toronto, Ontario – Toyota and Ford top the list of leading automotive manufacturers that Canadian consumers regard as best-positioned to offer vehicles with advanced fuel technologies, such as hybrid or biofuel-powered vehicles, according to a study from TNS Canadian Facts.

The new study suggests that while Toyota dominates the hybrid market in terms of perceived market readiness, Ford and Honda are also regarded as being strongly positioned and competitive in their ability to deliver vehicles driven by hybrid technology.

By contrast, the market for biofuel vehicles is flat, although the survey found that Toyota, Ford and Chevrolet/GM are regarded as being equally well positioned to move forward and offer emerging bio-fuelled technology. Honda, the only other competitor of note in this market, trails the other three slightly in consumers’ mind.

Perceptions of market readiness for the delivery of fully electric vehicles are not measurably different. Toyota leads this segment, followed closely by Chevrolet/GM, Honda and Ford. All are regarded as having comparable strength in their ability to deliver these emerging fuel technologies.

The study, Automotive Eco-Friendly Technology, also shows that interest in alternate-fuel technologies has been building slowly in recent years. In 2006, 51 per cent of new vehicle intenders were likely to consider a hybrid vehicle; in 2009, 52 per cent were, showing no change in broad interest and possible uptake over the past three years. However, the level of firm commitment to hybrid technologies has risen from 17 per cent in 2006 to 23 per cent in 2009, perhaps reflecting a growing interest in “green” living and sustainability, the company said.

“Market leaders Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet/GM and Honda are well positioned to capitalize on consumers’ growing commitment to hybrid vehicles,” said Margot Acton, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts. “They all have solid equity in this market on which to build measurable growth in retail sales over the next few years.”

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