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Toyota Snubbed in New Total Value Index

Japanese maker fails to lead a single segment.

by on Nov.23, 2009

The 2009 Volkswagen CC was the highest-rated vehicle in the new Total Value Index, VW fielding 5 segment-winning products - as did Ford.

The 2009 Volkswagen CC was the highest-rated vehicle in the new Total Value Index, VW fielding 5 segment-winning products - as did Ford.

As if the Japanese automaker didn’t have enough problems with recalls, lawsuits and slumping sales, now Toyota has been shut out, failing to field a single segment leader in the latest Total Value Index, from California market research firm Strategic Vision.

“A revolution,” is how the company describes the snub in the annual TVI is designed to measure not just quality but buyer perceptions about the value and features delivered by their automobiles.  While some quality leaders, such as Honda, did well in the Total Value Index, the study also rewarded some manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, who have traditionally suffered from reliability issues but which consumers often see as offset by fun-to-drive factors. In fact, VW tied with Ford – which has also scored well in recent quality surveys – for the most segment wins in the new Strategic Vision study.

Your Quality News Source!

Your Quality News Source!

“Durability alone and simply satisfying customers is not enough for buyers who demand both immediate and long term ‘Value,’” explained Alexander Edwards, President Strategic Vision. That is likely to translate into a continuing shift in purchase patterns, Edwards suggested, noting, “Customers no longer feel constrained to consider only the ‘usual suspects.’”

The 2009 Ford Flex was one of 5 segment winners for Ford, which was also named "Most Improved" automaker.

The 2009 Ford Flex was one of 5 segment winners for Ford, which was also named "Most Improved Brand and Corporation."

The 2009 Total Value is likely to be taken as great news by Volkswagen, the German importer that has struggled to maintain its market share in recent years.  The automaker is hoping to more than double U.S. sales, to 800,000 annually, by 2018, and while it is promising to resolve recent quality problems, VW officials have made it clear they hope to differentiate themselves by emphasizing the fun-to-drive attributes of their products.

Notably, the coupe-like VW CC sedan was not only winner in the TVI Full-size/Larger Car segment, but the highest-ranked vehicle in the entire study, with a score of 846 points.  The German marque’s Jetta and Passat models tied in the Midsize Car segment, with the Jetta Wagon capturing the Midsize Multi-Function category.  The Tiguan took honors in the Small Utility segment.  (And VW’s luxury arm, Audi, won the Luxury Utility category with the Q7.)

Ford also posted five winners, though without any ties, it grabbed five individual segment victories, ranging from the Mustang Convertible, declared best Convertible, to the F250/F350 truck, which was number one in the Heavy Duty Pickup segment.  The study found Ford also to be the “Most Improved Brand and Corporation.”  But none of Ford’s other brands, including Lincoln, captured any segment victories in the latest TVI.

Honda took four segments, including best Minivan, with the Odyssey, and best Small Car, with the Insight.  Chevrolet and Mercedes-Benz each captured two segment honors, the domestic maker fielding the best Full-Size pickup, with the Avalanche, and Premium Coupe, with the Corvette.  The German marque’s R-Class was declared best Luxury Multi-Function vehicle, and the S-Class overwhelmed the competition in the Luxury Car segment.

Other, single-segment winners included not only Hyundai and BMW, but several other brands that typical fare below average – sometimes down near the bottom – in studies focused exclusively on quality or reliability, Mini, Saab and Chrysler.

The study found that with so many alternatives to choose from – both in terms of brands and protect variants – consumers are more open than ever, and brand loyalty is faltering.  Hundai’s Genesis, winner in the Near Luxury segment, is attracting the sort of affluent, well-educated buyers who’d normally opt for top-line European nameplates, Strategic Vision’s research reveals.

While the Honda Insight took honors among competitors in the Small Cars segment, SV Vice President Christopher Chaney cautioned that “People will not buy hybrids in larger numbers until they have all their demands/needs met and ‘the math.”  That equation, he cautioned, depends not only on delivering great fuel economy at a great price, but also the sort of driving experience people will love.

The Total Value Index is based on responses from 48,228 motorists who purchased their 2009 model-year vehicles between September 2008 and March 2009.

Segment Winner(s) TVI Score
Small Car Honda Insight 795
Small Multi-Function Ford Focus Coupe 801
Mid-Size Car Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
Volkswagen Passat Sedan
Mid-Size Multi-Function Volkswagen Jetta Wagon 769
Full-size (Larger) Car Volkswagen CC Sedan 846
Near-Luxury Car Hyundai Genesis 838
Luxury Multi-Function Mercedes-Benz R-Class Wagon 792
Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz S-Class 828
Specialty Coupe MINI Cooper Hatchback 827
Premium Coupe Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 840
Mid Specialty Honda Accord Coupe 802
Convertible Ford Mustang Convertible 799
Premium Convertible Saab 9-3 Convertible 807
Minivan Honda Odyssey 745
Small (Entry) Utility Volkswagen Tiguan 801
Mid-Size Crossover Utility Ford Flex 784
Mid-Size Traditional Utility Chrysler Aspen 766
Large Utility Ford Expedition 803
Near-Luxury Utility BMW X3 806
Luxury Utility Audi Q7 792
Standard Pickup Honda Ridgeline 748
Full-Size Pickup Chevrolet Avalanche 787
Heavy Duty Pickup Ford F-250/350 709

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One Response to “Toyota Snubbed in New Total Value Index”

  1. Hillbilly says:

    VW’s are a lot of fun to drive. You get lots of practice taking them to the dealer for repairs.