Appealing Vehicles are Critical to Automakers' Success as They Sell Faster, Command  Higher Prices and Lead to Higher Customer Loyalty

Volkswagen Group Receives Five Model-Level  Awards, GM Receives Four, and Ford Receives Three; Porsche Ranks Highest among Nameplates


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 24 July  2013
-- The most  appealing vehicles tend to remain on dealer lots for shorter periods, command  higher transaction prices, and are more likely to create owner loyalty when  they are ultimately traded-in, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Automotive  Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM released today.

                                              

The APEAL  Study, which serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle appeal, has been  completely redesigned for 2013. The study, now in its 18th year, has  been updated to better measure the appeal of today's vehicles, particularly with  respect to the new technologies and features now being offered. Owners evaluate  their vehicle across 77 attributes, which roll up into an overall APEAL score  on a 1,000-point scale.

The study  finds that manufacturers are able to charge more for vehicles with higher  APEAL. Owners of vehicles with an APEAL score of 100 points or higher than the  segment average typically spend at least $1,800 more on their new vehicle than do  owners of vehicles with a score of at least 100 points lower than the segment  average.

Similarly,  vehicles with APEAL scores at least 100 points higher than the segment average remain  on dealer lots an average of three days less than vehicles with scores at least  100 points below the segment average.

"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. These vehicles also sell more  quickly.

Analyzing  some of the results of previous years' studies highlights the impact of APEAL  on customer loyalty. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of owners whose vehicle achieved  an APEAL score at least 100 points above the segment average repurchase the  same brand the next time they shop for a new vehicle, compared with just 55  percent of those whose vehicle scored at least 100 points below the segment  average.

"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."

2013 APEAL Ranking Highlights

Volkswagen Group receives the highest number of  segment awards of all corporations included in the study for the Audi allroad,  Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen GTI and Volkswagen Passat.

Chevrolet  receives the highest number of segment awards of any brand for the Avalanche,  Sonic and Volt models, all of which also received awards in 2012.

Ford and  Nissan brands each receive two model awards: Ford, for the F-250/F-350 Super  Duty and Mustang; Nissan, for the Armada and Murano.

Also  receiving awards are the BMW 5 Series; Buick Encore; Dodge Charger; Fiat 500;  Honda Odyssey; Kia Soul; Land Rover Range Rover; Lexus LS; Lincoln MKZ; Mazda  CX-5; and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.

The Land  Rover Range Rover achieves the highest APEAL score of any model in the industry  in 2013, which marks the first time a model outside the large premium car  segment has done so.

Porsche is  the highest-ranked nameplate for a ninth consecutive year. Ram is the  highest-ranked non-premium nameplate.

J.D. Power  offers the following tips to consumers when purchasing a new vehicle:

     
  • Have realistic expectations about the fuel economy of your vehicle, and remember that the city/highway/combined mileage ranges listed on the window sticker are merely estimates provided by the EPA. Your actual miles per gallon will vary due to many factors, including weather conditions, driving style, tire inflation and the overall condition of your vehicle.
  •  
  • Before you buy, ask your salesperson to demonstrate all of the audio/communication/ entertainment/navigation features on the vehicle. In particular, ensure the voice recognition system (if available) responds accurately to your commands. Also, have the salesperson assist you in pairing and connecting your wireless devices to the vehicleís audio and communication system.
  •  
  • Although exterior styling is an important part of a new vehicleís appeal for many consumers, consider all aspects of a vehicle to ensure it meets your needs. You want to enjoy your vehicle ownership for many years, not just for a few months.


The APEAL Study examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner  evaluations of 77 vehicle attributes. The study is used extensively by  manufacturers worldwide to help them design and develop more appealing vehicles  and by consumers to help them in their purchase decisions. The 2013 APEAL Study  is based on responses gathered between February and May 2013 from more than 83,000  purchasers and lessees of new 2013 model-year cars and light trucks who were  surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership. The APEAL Study complements the  Initial Quality Study (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners  during the first 90 days of ownership.


About J.D.  Power

  J.D. Power is a global marketing  information services company providing performance improvement, social media  and customer satisfaction insights and solutions.  The companyís quality  and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers  annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in  North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit  of McGraw Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

  McGraw Hill Financial, a financial intelligence company, is a  leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and  commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poorís Ratings  Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D.  Power, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has  approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is  available at http://www.mhfi.com.

J.D. Power Media Relations  Contacts
  John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
  Syvetril Perryman; Westlake  Village, Calif.; 805-418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com


No  advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this  release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power.  www.jdpower.com


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