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Porsche tops list while U.S. automakers show most improvement
Each year J.D. Power & Associates does a study that examines the most appealing cars to consumers and this year there is one big surprise. The Hyundai Genesis sedan topped the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF in the mid-sized luxury segment for the 2009 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.
The APEAL Study is based off of owner evaluations of over 80,900 new car consumers from February to May 2009 and takes into account over 90 factors and generally evaluates how those buyers or leasers feel about their car new car.
Other winners include the VW Passat in the Mid-sized car segment, the Nissan Maxima in the Large Car segment, the Honda Odyssey in the Minivan Segment, a tie between the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Avalanche in the Pickup Truck segment and the Smart fortwo in the Sub-compact Car segment. And on that note, we urge you to take the list with a grain of salt, as the Smart beat out cars like the Honda Fit.
In terms of manufacturers, Porsche topped the list for the fifth consecutive year, while domestic brands like Dodge, Pontiac, Buick and Cadillac showed the most improvement. As a manufacturer Cadillac placed third overall.
Overall, scores for 2009 improved over 2008, due mostly to improvements in the fuel-economy segment. J.D. Power lists three contributing factors to this increase: improved fuel-economy of the vehicles; an increase in ownership of fuel-efficient cars, with over 50 percent (as compared to 39 percent in 2008) of the surveyed vehicles powered by four-cylinder engines; and a drop in fuel prices that has also meant consumers are less interested in fuel economy.
One other trend that has emerged is the increasing appeal of domestic brands, as they ranked, on average, just five points below import brands. This compares to a difference of 15 points last year and 27 points in 2007.
GALLERY: J.D. Power 2009 APEAL Study
A new survey out of the U.K. by J.D. Power & Associated in association with automotive resource What Car? might be great new for Lexus… but it’s quite the opposite for both Chrysler and its new bosses at Fiat.
The Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS) lets owners of three year old cars rate those vehicles and Chrysler did not do well. In fact, it finished dismally, ranking in the second last place.
You might think Chrysler’s new bosses at Fiat wouldn’t be too pleased about the results, but Fiat has its own problems, with a ranking of dead last.
The survey includes info on vehicle quality and reliability, appeal, ownerships costs and overall satisfaction. In total 15,700 online interviews were conducted for 29 brands on 101 models.
Lexus topped the list (for the ninth consecutive year), followed by Honda and then Mercedes-Benz.
[Source: J.D. Power & Associates]
Results may be a product of last year's high gas prices
Car sales for the month of May appear to show a certain level of recovery – at least for U.S. automakers Ford and General Motors.
Ford posted a loss of 28.5 percent, its best result since July of 2008. As for GM, it declined “just” 29 percent marking its best monthly performance since September.
In total, auto sales in the U.S. were down 33.7 percent, the smallest drop since the recession really got going in October.
Helping to bring the national average down were Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda, which suffered 40.7 and 41.5 percent sales declines respectively.
Jeff Schuster of J.D. Power & Associates attributes the larger declines for Honda and Toyota more to the unusually high sales both companies saw in May 2008. During that period Honda actually set a monthly sales record as skyrocketing gas prices saw consumers turning away from domestic automakers to buy fuel-efficient imports.
Compared to 2007, in 2008 Honda and Toyota saw increases of 15.6 and 4.3 percent, while Ford and GM fell 15.9 and 27.5 percent.
Meanwhile Chrysler’s sales were understandably low as the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on the 1st of May. Sales were down 46.9 percent, despite some industry experts claiming that dealership liquidation sales would provide a boost in sales.
That bump may yet occur, and may now include sales of General Motors vehicles. The drastically reduced inventory is also expected to have the most impact on U.S. automaker Ford, which plans to launch strong incentive programs to attract consumers interested in domestic products.
[Source: Automotive News]
Full sales numbers for all automakers in the U.S. after the jump:
Reclaiming the top spot for 2008, Jaguar now holds the title for four of the past five years
Jaguar has once again been awarded the top spot in the J.D. Power & Associates Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. After missing out for 2007, Jaguar’s return to the top of the list is the company’s fourth first-pace ranking in the past five years.
The Study, which has been run by J.D. Power for the past 22 years, is based on responses from 35,805 new-vehicle buyers who registered their vehicles in May 2008. The survey is based on five factors: the dealership facility, the sales staff, the paperwork and finance process, the delivery process and the vehicle price.
For 2008 Jaguar also placed first in the J.D. Power & Associates Customer Service Index (CSI) Study for the second year in a row.
Official release after the jump: