SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Domestic automotive manufacturers won more Total Quality Awards than their foreign competitors, according to the latest results of Strategic Vision’s Total Quality ImpactTM (TQI) measure. Vehicles from Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Tesla combined for 16 winning vehicles, compared to 15 winning models from abroad. The victory was close, but significant. After almost a decade of lopsided defeats, American manufacturers have prevailed over imports for the second time in four years. The signs are clear. America is back.
The journey to the top did not happen by playing it safe. Manufacturers took bold, innovative, game-changing risks with several models that ended up winning Total Quality Awards this year. “We see time and again that for consumers, innovation does more to communicate quality than an absence of problems does,” says Christopher Chaney, Senior Vice President at Strategic Vision. Whether it comes in the form of breakthrough technology (Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-MAX Energi), re-engineering a vehicle (Ford F-150), or creating a new model (with the resurrected GMC Canyon), consumers feel the positive impact of bold new directions taken by manufacturers. The future of quality that is meaningful to buyers will reach beyond “no squeaks and rattles” and reside in the successful deployment of engineering innovation and technology that is relevant, intuitive, and impactful.
When Ford announced plans to put an aluminum body on their signature product, many in the industry were cautious or skeptical. Since then, F-150 buyers have largely put those concerns over the truck’s quality to rest. An abundance of data from the New Vehicle Experience Study (NVES) shows that the truck’s aluminum body does not detract from the driver’s impression of its durability. In fact, the sense of security that the vehicle provides actually increased when Ford made the switch to aluminum. The lighter frame also improves economic factors such as fuel economy and cost of ownership, while adding other important benefits over the competition such as increased acceleration.
“Some auto manufacturers are hoping that attack ads on the Ford F-150 will convince shoppers of the lack of quality, hoping for similar success in election commercials,” says Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards. “However, the Ford F-150 has provided a quality product combined with a strong positive emotional experience that makes it a leader. Ford buyers will continue to cast their vote with the F-150.”
TESLA MODEL S
The Tesla Model S was again rated as the highest quality vehicle in the entire industry. The electric performance car consistently reinforces the fact that according to consumers, quality is far more than simply a lack of problems. The Model S does have its share of minor issues, but the innovation and excitement of the product overpowers any lasting negative feelings regarding those issues.
According to Karl Miller, Director of Marketing at Strategic Vision, “Even the way Tesla fixes problems often turns a product drawback into a benefit. To be able to fix problems and add features through a software download overnight instead of a trip to the dealer is a powerful tool. In many cases, it actually enhances their confidence in the product more than if the problem had never existed in the first place.”
OTHER INDUSTRY NOTES
Asian products generally did well in the more value-related categories. Subaru in particular had a strong showing, tying with Buick as the Best Mass-Market Brand and taking home Total Quality Awards for both the WRX and the XV Crosstrek.
The luxury-oriented segments saw a healthy dose of European winners. BMW, which was the Best Luxury Brand, has hit its stride with its hatchback and crossover offerings. The 3-Series Gran Turismo, X4, and X6 all won Total Quality Awards, and the X1, X3, and X5 were near the top of their segments.
Here is the full list of Total Quality Award winners:
|Micro Car||Fiat 500 Hatchback||640|
|Small Car||Toyota Corolla||615|
|Small Multi-Function Car||Mazda3 Hatchback||563|
|Small Alternative Powertrain (APT)||CarFord C-MAX Energi||688|
|Mid-Size Car||Subaru WRX||706|
|Mid-Size APT Car||Chevrolet Volt||595|
|Full-Size Car||Nissan Maxima||720|
|Near-Luxury Car||Mercedes CLA-Class||744|
|Near-Luxury APT Car||Lincoln MKZ Hybrid||656|
|Luxury Car||Jaguar XJ||765|
|Luxury Multi-Function Car||BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo||717|
|Specialty Coupe||Dodge Challenger||736|
|Premium Coupe||Chevrolet Corvette Coupe||812|
|Standard Convertible||Ford Mustang Convertible||692|
|Premium Convertible/Roadster||Chevrolet Corvette Convertible||772|
|Standard Pickup||GMC Canyon||573|
|Full-Size Pickup||Ford F-150||665|
|Heavy Duty Pickup||GMC Sierra 2500/3500||643|
|Entry SUV||Jeep Wrangler Unlimited||606|
|Entry CUV||Subaru XV Crosstrek||623|
|Mid-Size SUV||Jeep Grand Cherokee||619|
|Mid-Size CUV||Kia Sorento||646|
|Full-Size Utility||Chevrolet Tahoe||683|
|Near-Luxury Utility||BMW X4||741|
|Luxury SUV||Cadillac Escalade||694|
|Luxury CUV||BMW X6 / Porsche Macan||725 / 725|
|Minivan||Kia Sedona / Toyota Sienna||504 / 503|
|Best Model||Tesla Model S||829|
|Best Brand Under $26,000||Fiat / Kia||557 / 554|
|Best Mass-Market Brand||Buick / Subaru||588 / 585|
|Best Luxury Brand||BMW||699|
|Best Full-Line Corporation||Ford Motor Company / General Motors||588 / 586|
Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Impact (TQI) is based on results from the New Vehicle Experience Study® surveying over 39,000 Jul.-Dec. new vehicle buyers after the first 90 days of ownership.
Strategic Vision is a research-based consultancy with over thirty-five years of experience in understanding the consumers’ and constituents’ decision-making systems for a variety of Fortune 100 clients, including most automotive manufacturers. Its unique expertise is in using ValueCentered® Psychology to identify consumers’ comprehensive, motivational hierarchies, which include the product attributes, personal benefits, value/emotions, and images that drive perceptions and behaviors. The newly enhanced Total Quality metric further incorporates the impact of problems with the vehicle as well as the drivers’ analytical and emotional evaluations of quality. These aspects are inseparably connected and crucial to measuring the impact of quality on the overall new vehicle experience. For further information contact Alexander Edwards or Christopher Chaney at (858) 576-7141.