Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The 2007 Total Quality Awards

The 2007 Total Quality Awards™

Hyundai - 3, Toyota - 0; Perceived Quality the New Paradigm Says Strategic Vision

Monday, June 4, 2007

San Diego — For the first time ever, the Hyundai brand has produced the most leaders on Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index™ (TQI), leading in three segments. The San-Diego-based research firm today announced 2007 results, based on the ratings of new vehicle owners in 19 product segments.

The only other brand to produce three leaders was Nissan. Hyundai Motors had a total of five leaders (the Kia brand earning two more), Ford Motor and BMW Group each earned three (one for BMW, two for Mini); GM, Honda, and Mercedes each earned two with Dodge, Lexus and Volkswagen each earning one. BMW repeated as the top scoring brand, the eighth time in nine years, and Volkswagen of America kept its claim as the best full-line corporation.

The Total Quality Index™ is the premier measure of new vehicle owner satisfaction. It asks buyers to rate all aspects of the ownership experience, from buying and owning to driving. Although Toyota improved overall with their TQI scores, the most significant change in 2007 is the lack of any Toyota brand segment leaders. Examining the number of problems or Things-Gone-Wrong per vehicle (the traditional definition of quality), Toyota and Lexus are still among the best. However, Toyota's lead in this narrower definition of quality is now shared with other brands like Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti and domestic brands such as Ford. For example, the Ford Expedition EL enjoyed a very large lead and had fewest problems in the segment. Expedition EL owners recognized innovative changes, which are key to future domestic success.

"With automotive corporations now doing a terrific job in providing vehicles with minimal problems, the Cues of Quality (those product attributes that signal quality and create customer Trust) have a greater impact on the purchase decision. Perceived Quality has the power to change customer's perceptions of a vehicle from being 'interesting' to eventually considered and purchased," says Alexander Edwards, Strategic Vision President. "In the past, one could count the number of problems per vehicle; but for automotive customers today and tomorrow, a comprehensive and integrated perception of the ownership experience will be what drives the decision making process."

"Even though Hyundai is often overlooked by the US customer, Hyundai's success in 2007 is not surprising given its' current products and press in leadership that is looking to the near and distant future with new designs from styling to powertrain," reports Dr. Darrel Edwards, Founder and CEO of Strategic Vision.

Long time leader Honda Odyssey (five years in a row) has now been replaced by the Hyundai Entourage, Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest in a three-way tie for this segment. The Ford F-150 returns to a leadership position in this most tightly contested segment, tied with the Nissan Titan.

Buyers rated the following vehicles tops in their segments:

Segment Winner(s) TQI Score
Small Car Honda Civic
Small Multi-Function Volkswagen Rabbit
Medium Car Saturn Aura
Nissan Maxima
Large Car Hyundai Azera
Small Specialty Under $25,000 Mini Cooper
Near Luxury Car BMW 3-Series Sedan
Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan
Convertibles Under $30,000 Mini Cooper Convertible
Convertibles Over $30,000 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Minivan Kia Sedona
Hyundai Entourage
Nissan Quest
Small SUV Hyundai Santa Fe
Medium SUV Kia Sorento
Medium Crossover Dodge Magnum
Large SUV Ford Expedition EL
Near Luxury SUV Lexus RX 350
Luxury SUV Mercedes-Benz ML
Standard Pick-Up Honda Ridgeline
Full-Size Pickup Nissan Titan
Ford F-150
Heavy Duty Pickup Ford F-250/350

"Unlike last year, we're seeing many new or redesigned vehicles not ranking near the top of their segments." says Alexander. "These vehicles typically have the potential to deliver more rational and emotional elements which are relevant to buyers. Although the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris all did well, they did not hit the same emotional chord which resounded in the DNA of the Volkswagen Rabbit buyers."

Responses from more than 27,000 buyers who bought 2007 models in September, October and November of 2006 were used to calculate the Total Quality Index™. Strategic Vision has calculated TQI annually since 1995.

Since its incorporation in 1989, Strategic Vision has studied consumer and constituent decision-making for the widest variety of clients, including most auto manufacturers, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Procter and Gamble, most advertising agencies. Its unique expertise is identifying consumers' motivational hierarchies, including the values that shape perceptions and capture the customers' emotional responses and drive behavior. The firm's in-depth Discovery Interviews and ValueCentered Surveys provide comprehensive, integrated, and actionable outcomes.

Strategic Vision, Inc.

Hyundai Azera, Entourage And Santa Fe Named Best-In-Segment In Strategic Vision 2007 Total Quality Index

Fountain Valley, Calif., 06/04/2007 Hyundai Motor America produced the most segment leaders of any automotive manufacturer, according to Strategic Vision's Total Quality Index™ (TQI), which measures total vehicle satisfaction among new car owners. Achieving the top slot in three distinct vehicle segments is a first for Hyundai. The Strategic Vision results released today placed the Hyundai Azera sedan atop the large car segment, the Entourage (tied with the Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest) in the top spot for the minivan segment and the Santa Fe on top in the small sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment.

"Hyundai's success in 2007 is not surprising given its current products and press, as well as its leadership team who is looking strategically to the future with new designs from styling to powertrain," reports Dr. Darrel Edwards, founder and CEO of San Diego-based Strategic Vision.

The Hyundai Santa Fe beat out competitors such as the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler 4-door for the top spot. The Hyundai Entourage minivan, which tied for first with the Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest, beat out the Honda Odyssey for the top slot, a position held by the Odyssey for the last five years.

"The Strategic Vision Total Quality Index demonstrates that Azera, Entourage, and Santa Fe are high-quality vehicles with terrific appeal," said John Krafcik, vice president of Product Development and Strategic Planning. "At Hyundai we stand for great design, quality, safety, and outstanding value….and these study results show that consumers love this recipe."

The Total Quality Index is the measurement of new vehicle owner satisfaction. The Strategic Vision poll surveyed more than 27,000 vehicle buyers who bought 2007 models in September, October and November of 2006. Consumers were asked an array of questions about their ownership experience, including buying, owning and driving their new vehicles. The Index 2007 results were based on ratings of new vehicle owners in 19 product categories.

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

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