BMW Brand Scores Highest in
'Total Quality' with New Car Buyers
vehicle buyers determine quality by the whole experience, not
just parts, says San-Diego based research firm Strategic Vision.
The company recently released the results of its 2003 Total Quality
Index (TQI), that measures the complete ownership experience,
including the emotions generatedthe same criteria buyers
use to measure quality.
reported in other indices had less bearing on owners satisfaction
with vehicles such as the MINI Cooper (912 out of 1000 possible)
and the Hummer H2 (902). Minor problems detract little,
says Strategic Vision President Dr. Darrel Edwards, when
the overall experience, and especially the emotional response,
is so positive.
imports headed the majority of segments, the domestic auto manufacturers,
particularly General Motors, are making gains. New vehicle buyers
rated GM tops in three segments with a tie in a fourth. Ford,
after four years out of the top spot, won in two segments.
remained the highest scoring brand, while Cadillac moved into
second place, ahead of Lexus and Mercedes. Compared to full-year
2002 results, it was the most improved brand. People who
buy Cadillac today are really pleased with their products,
says Daniel Gorrell, Strategic Vision vice-president. Now
the task is to convince non-owners to take a look.
vehicle buyers rated the following tops in their segments:
Small Car - Saturn Ion
Car - VW Golf*/Chrysler PT Cruiser*/Pontiac Grand Am (TIE)
Car - Honda Accord Sedan
Car - Pontiac Bonneville/Oldsmobile Aurora* (TIE)
Specialty Coupes - Mini Cooper
Specialty Coupes - Honda Accord Coupe*
Car - Infiniti G35 Sedan
Car - Mercedes S-Class/BMW 5-Series (TIE)
(<$30,000) - Ford Mustang Convertible
(>$30,000) - Porsche Boxster
- Honda Odyssey*
SUV - Hyundai Santa Fe
SUV - Toyota 4Runner/Kia Sorento (TIE)
SUV - Ford Excursion
Luxury SUV - Volvo XC90
SUV - Land Rover Range Rover
Pickup - Subaru Baja
Pickup - Chevrolet Avalanche 1500
* 2002 TQA Winner
the Japanese makers, Honda was the only multi-segment winner with
three. Infiniti G35's top honors in the near-luxury car category
were the first for the brand. Subaru led one segment, and Toyota
had a tie with its redesigned 4Runner.
manufacturers Hyundai and Kia continue to improve, especially
their newer products. Both won sport utility segments (Kia in
a tie with the redesigned Toyota 4Runner), and all Hyundai vehicles,
except Accent, were above segment average. The XG 350 outscored
mid-size rivals Volkswagen Passat and Toyota Camry.
gains by the domestics, Volkswagen remained the top-scoring full-line
corporation, followed by Honda, Nissan and Toyota. At 932, the
Porsche Boxster was the highest rated model.
and price increases caused realignments in some segments. Perennial
winners Volkswagen Golf (six in a row) and Chrysler PT Cruiser
(three in a row) are now pitted head to head, resulting a three-way
tie with Pontiac Grand Am.
measures satisfaction as consumers define it: the whole experience
of buying, owning and driving a new vehicle. Our goal was
to measure quality as new vehicle owners define it, says
Dr. Darrel Edwards, Strategic Vision president, and that
meant the index had to be as complex as people, specifically new
vehicle buyers, are.
the heart are measures of the values and feelings that drive decision-making,
says Edwards. These are the key to what buyers really want.
Recognizing this hierarchy of emotions brings consumer needs clearly
Vision surveyed more than 31,000 October November buyers
of 2003 models at least 90 days after their purchase. TQI is then
calculated from the responses in a very complex correlation of
expectations, emotions, and attributes.
is the ninth year Strategic Vision has calculated the Total Quality
Index, beginning in 1995. It also releases a Problem Impact
Measure, Total Value Index and Total Delight Index
that further examined buyers responses to their new vehicles.