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Volkswagen Group Tops Latest JD Power APEAL Study

GM, Ford follow close behind as Toyota slides.

by on Jul.24, 2013

Shining bright: the Porsche Boxster was one of the highest-ranked models in the 2013 JD Power APEAL.

Volkswagen grabbed the top spot in the latest J.D. Power APEAL study, a survey that focuses on the things that surprise and delight car buyers rather than the problems that frustrate them. The German maker’s Porsche and Audi brands topped the annual report while five individual VW Group models led their individual product segments.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. followed close behind. In fact, GM’s Chevrolet division had more segment winners than any other brand, a sudden surge that echoed Chevy’s unexpectedly strong performance in J.D. Power’s closely watched Initial Quality Survey, or IQS, last month.

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Another surprise came with the poor performance of Toyota. Though its premium Lexus division landed in fifth place in the latest APEAL study, the flagship Toyota brand came in fifth from the bottom, two spots lower than the Japanese maker’s youth-oriented Scion division.

Perhaps less unexpected was the continued dominance of well-equipped luxury vehicles over mainstream brands and products. Only a handful of non-luxury brands scored above the industry average and none landed in the Top 10.

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Downsizing Doesn’t Mean Downgrading, Says J.D. Power’s New APEAL Study

“Better vehicles than we’ve ever seen.”

by on Jul.25, 2012

Chevy wins three awards for products including the Sonic and the Volt, shown here.

American motorists no longer need worry about what they’ll have to sacrifice trading in a larger vehicle for a smaller one.  A new study by J.D. Power and Associates finds that, “across the board,” manufacturers are offering small car buyers the sort of features and amenities they might not even have found in larger vehicles of a decade ago.

And from the most basic transportation all the way to the most expensive and exotic, the industry is delivering far more than ever before, according to Power’s annual APEAL study, which looks at automotive performance, execution and layout.

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“Automakers are designing better cars than we’ve ever seen,” said Dave Sargent, Power’s director of global automotive operations. “It’s not just one or two manufacturers.  It’s across the board, which means that for consumers it’s a great time to be in the car market.”

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Porsche is Industry’s Most APEAL-ing Brand

But all-new Hyundai Equus is the most appealing new product, according to new J.D. Power study.

by on Jul.27, 2011

The 2011 Hyundai Equus is the market's most APEAL-ing model, according to a new study.

Porsche is far and above the most “APEAL”-ing brand when it comes to American auto buyers, but the all-new Hyundai Equus, the Korean maker’s first premium luxury sedan, was far and away the highest-rated individual model in the latest annual APEAL study by J.D. Power and Associates.

Short for Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, the APEAL Study takes a very different look at the automotive market compared to traditional defect-based surveys, such as Power’s Initial Quality Study, or IQS.  It looks at what might be called “things-gone-right,” the surprise-and-delight features that might make one model a standout even when compared to a product with a lower overall things-gone-wrong quality rating.

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By that measure, the 2011 models are more appealing, in fact reaching a historic high for the study, which was first conducted in 1996.  On a 1,000-point scale, the average 2011 model scored 781, up from 778 last year.  Significantly, the industry seems to be figuring out what it takes to make their products more enticing, as demonstrated by the class of 2011.  All-new 2011 models, on average, scored 29 points higher than holdover products – the biggest gap since the APEAL survey was launched.

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Volkswagen, Porsche Take Top APEAL Honors

Automakers offer more APEAL-ing models says new study.

by on Jul.16, 2009

Though Volkswagen has lagged in recent quality surveys, products like the VW CC excelled in the 2009 J.D. Power APEAL study, which measures things owners find gratifying.

Though Volkswagen has lagged in recent quality surveys, products like the CC excelled in the APEAL study, which measures things owners find gratifying.

Porsche is the most APEAL-ing automotive brand on the market, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates, though Volkswagen has four of the most APEAL-ing products on the road, more than any other manufacturer.

The auto industry, on the whole, is producing products with more APEAL, reveals the 2009 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study. Notably, Japanese vehicles lagged in the award, with some brands that do well on traditional quality surveys — such as Toyota — ranking near the bottom.

The APEAL study differs from traditional automotive surveys, such as Power’s own Initial Quality Survey, or IQS, in that it focuses on those things consumers find attractive about their vehicles — Things Gone Right, in industry parlance — rather than Things Gone Wrong.  Nearly 81,000 new car buyers were asked ranked how gratifying their vehicles are to own and drive according to 90 specific criteria. How it correlates to sales is unknown.

On a scale where a perfect product would score 1,000, new and redesigned models achieved a score of 790 points in this year’s APEAL study, 11 points higher than last year.  That’s 15 points higher than carryover vehicles, Power reports.

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“Most automakers are on track in terms of designing new models that are highly appealing,” said David Sargent, Power’s vice president of automotive research. “The greater challenge for manufacturers lies in creating models that launch with both strong appeal and high quality, which ultimately lead to improved sales through greater customer loyalty and advocacy.”

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