Press Release

The 2006 Total Quality Awards™
GM Again Earns Most Quality Awards, Says Strategic Vision

For immediate release - Monday, June 19, 2006

[Adobe PDF version available]

San Diego – For the second straight year, General Motors scored the most wins on Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index™ (TQI), leading in five segments out of the eight won by domestics. The San-Diego-based research firm today announced 2006 results, based on the ratings of new vehicle owners.

No one corporation dominated, with Toyota leading four segments, BMW and American Honda three each and Chrysler Group two. BMW repeated as the top scoring brand, the seventh time in eight years, and Volkswagen of America reemerged as the best full-line corporation. Ford’s only win was significant, as its much-heralded Fusion took top honors.

“We’re seeing many new or redesigned vehicles at the top of their segments, “ says Strategic Vision CEO Darrel Edwards, Ph.D. “These vehicles typically deliver more tangible and intangible emotional elements which are relevant to buyers. That measured importance should be part of any quality measurement today though it is often missing. When importance is included in the calculation, BMW does not suffer from innovation. Actually, the BMW 7-Series receives the highest scores from its owners compared to any other model.”

Of the 20 vehicle award segments, the domestics captured 8, or 40 percent. Japanese firms won the same number, with European marques taking the remaining 4, or 20 percent. Though scoring well in TQI, Korean companies were shut out of top spots this year. Perennial winner Honda Odyssey (five years in a row), and small specialty leaders Mini Cooper (three out of four years) and Chevrolet Corvette (three years in a row) were again at the top of their class.

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. This is how buyers gauge quality, including attributes and the emotional response to vehicle.

Buyers rated the following vehicles tops in their segments:

SegmentWinner(s)TQI Score
Small CarHonda Civic871
Small Multi-FunctionChevrolet HHR865
Medium CarFord Fusion884
Large CarDodge Charger906
Near Luxury CarLexus IS 250/350919
Luxury CarBMW 7-Series Sedan928
Small Specialty Under $25,000Mini Cooper909
Small Specialty Over $25,000Chevrolet Corvette Coupe*908
Convertibles Under $30,000Mini Cooper Convertible*896
Convertibles Over $30,000Chevrolet Corvette Convertible912
MinivanHonda Odyssey*876
Small SUVSaturn VUE870
Medium CrossoverDodge Magnum880
Medium SUVToyota 4Runner878
Large SUVNissan Armada*907
Near Luxury SUVLexus RX 330/400H904
Luxury SUVLand Rover Range Rover Sport910
Compact PickupToyota Tacoma*849
Full-Size PickupHonda Ridgeline885
Heavy Duty PickupChevrolet Silverado 2500/3500870

*2005 Total Quality Award™ winner

“Overall the results show good news and bad news for the domestics, “says Daniel Gorrell, Strategic Vision vice president. “On the one hand, their efforts to beef up their car offerings is paying off, especially with bread-and-butter products like the Ford Fusion and Dodge Charger. On the other hand, the Japanese continue making inroads into the truck categories that the domestics used to own, winning six of the ten slots, vs. three for the domestics.”

Responses from more than 29,000 buyers who bought 2006 models in October and November of 2005 were used to calculate the Total Quality Index™. Strategic Vision has calculated TQI annually since 1995. In addition, the firm releases a Customer Delight Index™ followed by a Total Value Index™ that focuses on different aspects of new vehicle owners’ experiences.

Since its incorporation in 1989, the research-based consultancy that was founded in 1972 has studied consumer and constituent decision-making for a wide variety of clients, including most auto manufacturers, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, and Procter and Gamble, among many worldwide. Its unique expertise is identifying consumers’ motivational hierarchies, including the values and emotions that drive perceptions and behavior.

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