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Latest Harris Poll Shows ‘Huge’ Improvement in Reputation of the Auto Industry

Significant changes seen over the past two years in Harris Poll’s measure of how public perceives major industries.

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NEW YORK — The latest Harris Poll measuring how the public perceives 22 of the nation’s largest industries shows massive changes over the past two years.  

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The biggest changes since 2009, when the survey was last conducted, are a huge improvement in the number of people who think that the automobile industry is doing a good job of serving consumers and a very large increase in those who give the airline industry bad marks, the company said.

One key measure, the difference between those who think the industry is doing a good and a bad job of serving their consumers, shows a 36-point improvement, from plus 6 to plus 42, for the car industry and a 27-point decline, from plus 34 to plus 7, for airlines. Other sizable changes since 2009 include an 11-point improvement in public attitudes to online search engines, from plus 63 to plus 74, and a 10-point improvement in attitudes to the still unpopular health insurance industry, from minus 19 to minus 9.

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The industries with the best images among the public are supermarkets (plus 80), online search engines (plus 74), hospitals (plus 66), computer hardware companies (plus 61) and computer software companies (plus 55).

The least popular industries are oil companies (minus 31), tobacco companies (minus 21), managed care companies (minus 13), health insurance companies (minus 9) and investment and brokerage firms (plus 3).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 1,956 adults surveyed by telephone and online between Aug. 8-15 by Harris Interactive. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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