Toyota New Zealand has taken top spot as having the strongest corporate reputation in New Zealand.

The latest corporate reputation index placed Toyota at the top for the first time since 2015, ending Air New Zealand's two-year stranglehold.

The two organisations continued their dominance in the study, placing in the top two for the fifth straight year.

Alistair Davis, Toyota New Zealand managing director and chief executive officer, said: "Part of the reason that we are consistently near the top is that we are consistent. We do not set out to get a good reputation per se – our focus is on looking after customers and because we do that pretty consistently, we have ended up with a good reputation.

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"Another contributor to Toyota's reputation has been a consistent focus on values – we have always sought to be a good corporate citizen in terms of the products we sell, how we look after customers through the life of the vehicle, the sponsorships we undertake and our involvement with issues like sustainability and climate change.

"Kiwis see Toyota as iconic, a leader, reliable, good quality, value for money – an authentic brand where there is no pretence. What you see is what you get – accordingly it is a trusted brand committed to its customers and to New Zealand."

It is the third time Toyota has ranked highest in the eyes of New Zealanders.

Air New Zealand, who ranked first in 2014, 2016 and 2017, had to settle for second but the company's chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod said: "Air New Zealand is incredibly proud of our leading reputation on both sides of the Tasman, a position we have sustained through the integrity, hard work and determined customer focus of all Air New Zealanders right across our business."

Oliver Freedman, Reputation Institute's Australia and New Zealand MD, paid testament to the two organisations' achievement and their ability to consistently remain in the top two for the fifth straight year.

"Toyota and Air New Zealand are excellent examples of organisations that have worked hard to keep leadership positions through a variety of activities, and as a result, New Zealanders view them very positively across multiple measurements. For example, they both ranked in the top 2 for the individual reputation drivers of Products/Services, Innovation, Workplace, Leadership and Performance," explained Freedman.

"New Zealand consumers clearly recognise the consistent and varied contributions both organisations make to the local business world and the products and services they offer. They should be congratulated on this result, and the achievement of being in the top 2 for so many years. It's a result rarely seen in markets across the world."

The reputation scores were based on four questions relating to trust, esteem, good feeling and admiration and respect.

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The data for the study was collected online between February 28 and March 11, 2018, among a representative sample of the New Zealand population.

The 25 companies included were sourced from the Deloitte Top 200 Company list, which ranks companies by revenue.

Recently embattled Fletcher Building was rated the least reputable company in the study.

A spokesperson for Fletcher Building said: "It's no secret Fletcher Building has had a tough year. Right now we are focussed on finalising our five year strategy, which we will share in June, and we believe this will provide our shareholders and all our stakeholders with a good view of where we want to take the business into the future.

"Just days ago we reconfirmed our strategic focus on our home base, NZ. We are proud of the strong contribution we make locally - employing over 10,000 people, in almost every region of the country, and continuing to invest in local manufacturing, home building and other major projects."