• Jul 15, 2010
Click above for gallery of the graphics from J.D. Power and Associates

Porsche once again grabs the top spot (for the sixth time in a row) in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study. This year's study asked 76,000 owners 90 days after purchasing their 2010 model-year cars "how gratifying their new vehicle is to own and drive." The answer, for the first time since 1997, was that the domestic brands were more "appealing" as a whole than the imports (the domestics earned a score of 787 on a 1,000-point scale – 13 points greater than the imports).

When it comes down to specific awards (as shown in the segment-level graphics), Ford leads with five. The automaker earned one each for the Expedition, Explorer Sport Trac, Flex, Fusion and Taurus. Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen each garner two awards. The Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Avalanche, both segment leaders, are the only two models that ranked highest in the 2010 APEAL study and in the 2010 Initial Quality Study (IQS) announced in June. Suzuki is credited with the greatest improvement this year, while Jeep drops one slot from last year's 2009 APEAL Study and falls to the bottom of the list for 2010. Check out the gallery for the graphics, and read the full press release after the break.



[Source: JDPower.com]
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J.D. Power and Associates Reports:

Domestic Models Outperform Imports in Vehicle Appeal for the First Time in 13 Years

Ford Receives Five Segment-Level Awards; Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Receive Two Each

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 15 July 2010 - For the first time since 1997, domestic auto brands, collectively, have surpassed import brands as a whole in vehicle appeal, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM released today.

In 2010, the APEAL score for U.S. domestic brands averages 787 on a 1,000-point scale-13 points higher than the score for import brands (automakers headquartered in Europe or Asia Pacific). By comparison, in 2009,import brands outpaced domestic brands by five points. Among premium models, import nameplates continue to retain a notable edge, but mass-market models from domestic brands outperform those from import brands.

Domestic brands have been improving steadily in vehicle appeal during the past four years, with the greatest improvement occurring between 2008 and 2010. Improvement in 2010 is driven primarily by high-performing models from Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation, including several models that are all-new or have undergone major redesigns.

"Domestic automakers have performed three important actions during the past two years that have led to their gains," said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Firstly, they have retired many models that demonstrated low appeal. They have also introduced new, highly appealing models to their lineups, and finally, they have improved their existing models through freshenings and redesigns."

New models introduced by import brands between 2008 and 2010 have similar APEAL scores as models retired by these import automakers during the same period (averaging 784 vs.781, respectively). In contrast, newly introduced domestic models have strongly outperformed the models retired by domestic brands (803 vs. 758, on average).

Historically, vehicle models achieving high APEAL scores have been shown to generate faster sales, higher profit margins, and less need for cash incentives. High levels of vehicle appeal also have a strong influence on customer recommendation rates. Among the most highly satisfied owners (APEAL scores averaging 950 or higher), 97 percent say they "definitely will" recommend their vehicle. However, among the least-satisfied owners (scores averaging below 400), only 8 percent say the same.

"When new-vehicle buyers go through the shopping process, vehicle appeal, along with price and perceptions of quality, is of major importance," said Sargent. "Attributes such as exterior styling are primary determinants of whether a model makes the customer's consideration list in the first place, while other attributes-particularly those related to the interior of the vehicle-are critical in determining which model is ultimately purchased."

APEAL Model-Level and Nameplate Rankings

Ford captures five segment-level awards-more than any other vehicle brand in 2010-for the Expedition, Explorer Sport Trac, Flex, Fusion and Taurus. Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen each garner two awards. Audi receives awards for the Q5 and Q7. BMW models receiving awards are the 3 Series and 5 Series. Chevrolet receives awards for the Avalanche and Camaro, while Mercedes-Benz earns awards for the EClass Coupe and S-Class (for a fourth consecutive year) and Volkswagen receives awards for the GTI and Routan.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class achieves the highest APEAL score of any model in the industry. Also receiving awards are the GMC Terrain; Honda Fit; Land Rover Range Rover; MINI Cooper (for a third consecutive year); and Nissan Cube. Only two models rank highest in their respective segments in both the 2010 APEAL Study and the 2010 Initial Quality Study (IQS) released in June-the Chevrolet Avalanche and Ford Taurus.

Five award recipients in 2010 are all-new models: the Audi Q5; Chevrolet Camaro; GMC Terrain; Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe; and Nissan Cube. According to the J.D. Power Web Intelligence Division, at the time of its launch, the Chevrolet Camaro generated particularly high volumes of online discussion centered on new-vehicle appeal. Compared with other new models released in 2010, discussion volume for the Camaro is twice that of the second-most-discussed model.

Porsche is the highest-ranking nameplate in APEAL for a sixth consecutive year. Suzuki improves more than any other nameplate in 2010, compared with 2009.

The APEAL Study examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of more than 80 vehicle attributes. The 2010 APEAL Study is based on responses gathered between February and May 2010 from more than 76,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2010 model-year cars and trucks who were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership. The APEAL Study complements the recently released J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance,health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:


Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      VW Routan #1 Minivan. The brand & model has done well is customer satisfaction.
      Keep up the good work.
      • 4 Years Ago
      exactly how many AWARDS does JD Power hand out, and exactly what is the relevence of THIS study....answer, possibly some influx of manufacturers $....hmmm, conspiracy theorist 101.....
      • 4 Years Ago
      They only say cars. What about trucks? On Jeeps, I would prefer Jeep CJ-7's. I had a 1980 Jeep CJ-7. One tough vehicle. I put wide Dunlop tires on it. Never a rollover problem. It had a rough ride but it cut through snow like a razor. I now own a 2004 Ford Ranger 4x4. One beautiful truck.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In other words, "How much do you love the car you just purchased?"

      Not the most meaningful measure of product quality, in my opinion.

      Brands at the top of this list are the ones with customers who REALLY CARE about their choice of car, and are excited about it. (I have no explanation for Jeep; that seems weird.)

      Brands at the bottom of the list could be making spectacular cars, but this survey wouldn't necessarily reflect how good the cars are. Their customers just might not be very into cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is basically the buyers remorse study. Is the customer happy with the vehicle and their purchase a couple payments in or are they wishing they bought a better car or higher trim? Companies with stripped down base models and inflated prices will be hurt in this kind of survey. It is just another type of survey but still also an indication of which way the wind is blowing. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Toyota and the Japanese imports are dropping in reputation and the domestics are getting steam.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think Jeep ranks low because there are a lot of people who buy a Wrangler and fail to realize what it truly is.

        As a Jeep enthusiast myself, I've heard my fair share of people who bought Wranglers and then immediately complained about the ride and lack of refinement.

        hell, last time I drove by the local Chrysler dealer, I saw a mother and her teenage daughter looking at a Wrangler for sale, and I couldn't help but think how clueless they must be about it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is correct. This study has nothing to do with quality (although cars that are not reliable will likely score low on the "how happy are you with your car" scale). This is all about appeal. JD Power has its "IQS study" for initial quality and its "VDS study" for long-term quality.

        - Mike
        • 4 Years Ago
        So you think Toyota makes "spectacular" cars? Can you please give us your definition of spectacular?
      • 4 Years Ago
      BrianFL and That One Person: I know what you mean on something that happened 20 or 30 years ago. I had a 1984 Ford Bronco II. Everything was bad on this vehicle. Automatic transmission was bad. It should have been a manual. Electrical, body and other things. I am glad they don't make this vehicle any more. That was 26 years ago. I now own a 2004 Ford Ranger 4x4. A lot of improvements since 1984. I still prefer Fords even though I had one bad Ford.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Any survey that puts the VW Routan as the most appealing minivan to purchase has no credibility in my eyes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you squint at the graphic, you see there is no _significant_ difference between any brand. No surprise, ask someone who just spent a buttload of money on something if they made the right choice and of course they will say they did.

      OTOH, in the segments, WHO buys a minivan and says it's gratifying to drive and own?
      • 4 Years Ago
      MINI is very high...and I concur.

      It remains gratifying to drive even 5 years later IMHO.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most people are satisfied in the beginning stages of ownership it's when the maintaince cost and when the warranty ends is when the study should be conducted. For years ford only had a 3yr warranty which Is ridiculous
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's all Toyota has. Oh wait, they're at the bottom of this chart.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they want their market share back they need to keep this up. There is still alot of import customers that refuse to buy domestic because of a bad experience way back in the 70s and 80s. I know a lady who said she would never buy a domestic especially a Ford because way back in 1979 her Ford pickup caught fire and burnt to the ground. I tried to explain to her that the whole car industry has changes alot since then. But it fell on deaf ears.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A friend of mine is like that. He is only 23 and is a diehard Honda lover but supposedly back in 07 he was a fan of Ford and GM. What changed his opinion about Ford was because his mom's 07 Fusion was supposedly a piece of crap. Why? Because the bulb in the CHMSL has burned out three or four times and both tailllights have burned out at least once.

        Yet he doesn't take in account the years of crappy automatic transmissions Honda put out along with the recent brake issues. You should hear the brakes on his 09 Civic.

        But I hear stories from a lot of people of why they won't buy domestic and it's usually because of a car that was built 20 to 30 years ago.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda not being on the list,shows how fraud this list is.Honda makes the best quality cars in the world,plain and simple.To each its own,Buy a Honda and you won't have to worry about another car for 15 years,and then you can give it to your kid on 16th bithday.Most of the cars on the list ,who the aveage income can buy will be done in 5 years and a headache for the last 2 years.Be Smart and wise and buy a Honda.
        • 4 Years Ago
        rob't: Perhaps you're right --using only cold hard facts. But consider that Hondas are not even as "American" as other Japanese-named models. Doesn't that mean a thing to you? I suppose you don't care that domestic models have improved in quality, or doesn't our national ability to "produce for ourselves" seem like a desirable goal?
        • 4 Years Ago
        To ajschrod-Honda not a American car? 85% percent of the Honda Accord is made in America,making it the most American car made.My 2 Honda were made in Marysville,Ohio by red,white,blue Americans like you and I.You keep your blind loyaly to the Big 3and I will keep buying Hondas,OK!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      or more accurately it should state "Domestics surpass JAPANESE imports as a whole in 2010"
        • 4 Years Ago
        So it's Germans
        • 4 Years Ago
        Let's think critically about this before drawing sweeping conclusions:

        This is an appeal/purchase satisfaction study, not to be confused with initial quality or other JD Power products. Domestic buyers are getting a bit more for their money and, with some of the more exciting products hitting Ford and GM showrooms, getting a more "emotional" pull than before.

        To me, this isn't about what's "better." It IS indicative of domestics starting to make more appealing products with greater tug at our automotive heartstrings. In the car marketing world, that is EVERYTHING.
        • 4 Years Ago
        looks like American cars, as a whole, are the best, they should sell them in Europe...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it should say: "Imports take top 8 spots, only Caddy & Lincoln in top 10"

        Or you could say "100% of American, European luxury marques in top 10, Japanese only manage 66%"

        Really, you could spin it any way you want to show you biases.
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