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2013 APEAL Study: Appealing Vehicles Sell Faster, and For More Money

7/24/2013
According to the J.D. Power 2013 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study,SM automakers that build appealing models sell them faster, and for higher prices, than those who do not. Furthermore, when those appealing models are traded in, those customers are more likely to remain loyal to the brand.

The J.D. Power APEAL Study, an industry benchmark customer satisfaction study now in its 18th year, is completely redesigned for 2013. Vehicle design and performance remain key evaluation attributes, but the new APEAL Study better measures owner satisfaction with new vehicle technology and modern features.

Buyers Willing to Spend More for Vehicles that Excite
A key finding of the 2013 APEAL Study is that new-vehicle buyers are willing to spend more money on the more appealing models in a particular market segment, and those more appealing cars and trucks also sell faster than other models.

"Appealing vehicles are simply good news for both consumers and automakers," said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. "Even within the same vehicle segment, consumers are willing to spend substantially more on vehicles that they find attractive, provide the performance and utility they are looking for, and have well-executed interiors."

Additionally, the 2013 APEAL Study finds that nearly two-thirds of owners of the more appealing models within a particular market segment are likely to buy another model from the same brand, while nearly half of vehicle owners who do not own one of the more appealing models switch brands the next time they buy or lease a new car or truck.

"One percentage point of loyalty is worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to automakers," said Sargent. "These companies are fighting for every last customer, and it is clear that appealing products remain the key to achieving this."

Premium Brands Dominate Nameplate Rankings
Of all the nameplates available to U.S. car shoppers, premium brands rank highest in the 2013 APEAL Study, with Porsche, Audi, BMW, Land Rover, and Lexus ranked, in order, as the top 5 most appealing brands. The top-ranked non-premium brand is Chrysler's truck division, Ram, which is the 11th most appealing brand overall. The remaining top 5 most appealing non-premium brands in the study are, in order, Volkswagen, Mini, Buick, and Kia.

Volkswagen Group produces the most models that rank among the top three in their respective segments (14), with General Motors in second place with 11. BMW of North America, Chrysler Group, and Toyota Motor Sales USA all had six top-three-ranked models. Among specific brands, Chevrolet leads the award count, earning recognition with the Avalanche, Sonic, and Volt, while the single model with the highest APEAL score in the entire study is the redesigned 2013 Land Rover Range Rover.

New and Redesigned Models: Hit or Miss
Traditionally, all-new or redesigned models as a group score well above segment average. In this year's APEAL Study, however, the results are a bit more balanced. Several new or redesigned models in the 2013 APEAL Study, including the Land Rover Range Rover, Buick Encore and Porsche Boxster, perform substantially better than their respective segment average. Other newly launched models weren't as big of a hit with consumers; New or redesigned models that did not fare well in the latest APEAL Study, compared with other models in their respective segments, include the Acura ILX, Scion FR-S, Acura RDX, Subaru XV Crosstrek, and Subaru BRZ.

Listed below in alphabetical order is a complete list of the top-ranked models in the 2013 APEAL Study and their respective segments:

Audi Allroad--Compact Premium CUV
BMW 5 Series--Midsize Premium Car
Buick Encore--Sub-Compact CUV
Chevrolet Avalanche--Large Light Duty Pickup
Chevrolet Sonic--Sub-Compact Car
Chevrolet Volt--Compact Car
Dodge Charger--Large Car
Fiat 500--City Car
Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty--Large Heavy Duty Pickup
Ford Mustang--Midsize Sporty Car
Honda Odyssey--Minivan
Kia Soul--Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle
Land Rover Range Rover--Large Premium CUV
Lexus LS--Large Premium Car
Lincoln MKZ--Compact Premium Car
Mazda CX-5--Compact CUV
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class--Midsize Premium Sporty Car
Nissan Armada--Large CUV
Nissan Murano--Midsize CUV
Porsche Boxster--Compact Premium Sporty Car
Porsche Cayenne--Midsize Premium CUV
Volkswagen GTI--Compact Sporty Car
Volkswagen Passat--Midsize Car

Additional Research:

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