Press Release

The 2006 Total Value Winners
BMW on top, Hyundai Leads Toyota, GM poised for success

For immediate release - Monday, October 9, 2006

[Adobe PDF version available]

San Diego – Hyundai leads over many brands, including Toyota. GM proves that Asian and European makers are not out of reach. BMW and MINI top all brands as Total Value leaders. These are a few of the results from Strategic Vision’s Total Value Index (TVI), which factors economic issues against the total new vehicle ownership experience. The San Diego-based research firm announced today the winners of its Total Value Awards, which reflect that true value is about much more than the cheapest deal. Reliability, a solid warranty, strong anticipated resale value, durability, and innovation are all part of the definition of “total value.”

Hyundai and Kia continue to produce nicely styled, high quality products, backed by solid warranties, and the results are four leaders in Total Value for 2006. The new Kia Optima and Hyundai Azera were Total Value leaders in their respective car segments, and the Kia Sedona tops the Honda Odyssey in the minivan category. The Hyundai Tucson was also at the top of Small Sport Utilities (tied with the Saturn Vue). The challenge for both Hyundai and Kia remains consideration on buyers shopping lists, and success rests on communicating foundational issues of expected reliability and durability along with clear cues of quality.

Toyota remains solid with several models performing relatively well in Total Value and three leaders in 2006 from its Scion and Lexus brands. The Scion brand continues strongly, with the xB proving that vehicles can continue to deliver value throughout their production cycle; Total Value is not exclusively the domain of new releases.

GM was the top domestic corporation, and presented four 2006 Total Value winners. The Chevrolet Corvette Coupe and Convertible, Saturn Vue, and Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 lead in Total Value in their respective segments. With the introduction of a five year 100,000-mile warranty, GM is poised for significant gain if the Total Value message is clearly recognized and communicated for individual models. "GM’s new warranty will bring new prospective buyers to the brand, who otherwise might have felt the quality, durability and value was missing," said Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision automotive research group. “If GM can communicate the right quality cues and value in current and future vehicles, then they will be poised for success in the near future."

BMW and MINI lead all brands in Total Value for 2006. Perennial value leader MINI Cooper leads its segment for the fifth year running, and was the overall Total Value winner among all vehicles and segments. With the 3-Series and Cooper Convertible leading Total Value in their segments, BMW and MINI demonstrate that winning requires a formula for success. BMW and MINI buyers had the highest levels of believed resale value, validated by outside sources, and BMW’s Ultimate Service program differentiates it from other luxury brands.

Honda is the top full-line corporation in Total Value, with one of the highest expected reliability scores among its owners and each Honda model excelling in that area. Honda Civic, Accord Coupe, and Pilot lead Total Value in their respective segments. The Honda Ridgeline leads in its segment, proving that delivering superior product experience, innovative features and standard equipment can overcome the hurdle of premium pricing to deliver total value.

Nissan had three Total Value leaders, including the Xterra and Armada. It also achieved a milestone with the Titan replacing the Ford F-150 as the Total Value winner in full-size pickups. Innovation and the level of standard equipment helped nudge Titan ahead in a tightly contested segment.

“The calculation of Total Value clearly incorporates explicit statements that owners make about value, but those statements do not alone provide sufficient differentiation to give us the diagnostic power we want or to be able to herald one brand or vehicle as the leader in a segment,” says Strategic Vision Founder and CEO Darrel Edwards, Ph.D. “By incorporating the importance of the variables that make up the experience and the economic factors which impact the perception of value, we find convergent, stable indices of True Value,”

“Total Value is absolutely critical now in the US market. It is even important for brands with strong reputations, but is critical for everyone else. Total Value is more than price paid or deal, and it is more than initial quality (TGW) divided by price - which some profess. Total Value encompasses the complete ownership experience with emotional components and priorities. Not all things are equal. Building Total Value is strongly related to brand reputation. It reinforces the notion of a ‘smart buy.’ In a mature market where consumers have a variety of excellent choices, yet concern for fuel economy and getting the most for their money, Total Value influences the purchase,” concluded Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision, Automotive Group.

The Total Value Study surveyed over 64,000 new vehicle buyers who purchased their vehicles between October 2005 and March 2006, asking an extensive array of questions about their first 90 days of ownership.

Strategic Vision is a research-based consultancy with thirty years of experience in understanding consumer and constituent decision-making systems for a variety of clients, including most automotive manufacturers, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, and Procter & Gamble. Its unique expertise is in identifying consumers’ motivational hierarchies, including the values and emotions that drive perceptions and behaviors.

For further information, contact Alexander Edwards or Dr. Darrel Edwards at (858) 576-7141, or download Strategic Vision's Interpretive Summary.

The full list of 2006 Total Value Award winners:

SegmentWinner(s)TVI Score
Small CarHonda Civic801
Small Multi-FunctionScion xB781
Medium CarKia Optima799
Medium Multi-FunctionMazda 6 Wagon767
Large CarHyundai Azera808
Near Luxury CarBMW 3-Series Sedan807
Luxury CarLexus LS 430
Audi A8 Sedan
Acura RL
Luxury Multi-FunctionAudi A4/S4 Avant787
Small Specialty Under $25,000Mini Cooper*794
Small Specialty Over $25,000Chevrolet Corvette Coupe798
Mid-Specialty CarHonda Accord Coupe*804
Convertibles Under $30,000Mini Cooper Convertible813
Convertibles Over $30,000Chevrolet Corvette Convertible789
MinivanKia Sedona758
Small SUVSaturn VUE
Hyundai Tucson
Medium SUVNissan Xterra735
Medium CrossoverHonda Pilot767
Large SUVNissan Armada724
Near Luxury SUVLexus RX 330/400H*771
Luxury SUVMercedes-Benz GL-Class782
Compact PickupHonda Ridgeline739
Full-Size PickupNissan Titan707
Heavy Duty PickupChevrolet Silverado 2500/3500686

*2005 Total Value Award™ winners

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