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.
“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.”