Title: Comparing customer perceptions of potential autonomous vehicle manufacturers: an analysis of the relationship between corporate reputation and intention to use

Authors: Jan-Gerrit Grotenhermen; Sven-Olaf Gerdt; Gerhard Schewe

Addresses: School of Business and Economics, University of Muenster, Universitaetsstr. 14-16, 48143 Muenster, Germany ' School of Business and Economics, University of Muenster, Universitaetsstr. 14-16, 48143 Muenster, Germany ' School of Business and Economics, University of Muenster, Universitaetsstr. 14-16, 48143 Muenster, Germany

Abstract: The introduction of autonomous vehicles has the potential to change the world of mobility. As they can be understood as 'really new products', customers cannot evaluate their technical characteristics yet. Instead, customers' perceptions of competing companies might be an important determinant of acceptance. Hence, in this study, we examine the role of corporate reputation, precisely character and capability reputation, as well as adverse events to understand what drives customers' intention to use autonomous vehicles beyond traditional technology acceptance factors. We highlight differences between three groups of potential manufacturers. Our results indicate that corporate reputation is an important prerequisite for customers' acceptance. Furthermore, adverse events negatively affect reputation. Regarding the different groups, we find that mobility start-ups benefit from an overall positive evaluation, whereas consumers are less confident towards traditional automotive manufacturers. The study enhances the understanding of customer intentions in automotive management research and expands the literature on corporate reputation.

Keywords: autonomous driving; customer acceptance; usage intention; corporate reputation; automotive manufacturer; manufacturer reputation; adverse events.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2020.112027

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2020 Vol.20 No.4, pp.408 - 435

Received: 27 Sep 2019
Accepted: 08 Apr 2020

Published online: 18 Dec 2020 *

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