Porsche Takes Top Spot in J.D. Power APEAL Study for Seventh Year in a Row

By Jacob Brown | July 28, 2011
Porsche Takes Top Spot in J.D. Power APEAL Study for Seventh Year in a Row Despite the automotive industry incurring more problems per car than it has in three years, J.D. Power and Associates latest APEAL study says customers love their high-tech cars more than ever. In the APEAL Study, J.D. Power surveyed new car buyers and lessees to see how satisfied they were with their vehicles. Rated on a 1000-point scale, participants rated their ownership experience and vehicle attributes in 10 different categories that include entertainment systems, seats, fuel economy, and overall driving experience. Porsche took top manufacturer honors for the seventh year in a row, with Jaguar, BMW, Land Rover, and Audi rounding out the top five. As an industry, many new vehicles had strong showings, which led to the industry average score jumping three points to 781 out of 1000 points. All-new and heavily revised cars for 2011 were found to be much more appealing than the ones they replaced. In J.D. Power’s Gap Score, which measures satisfaction levels for customers purchasing all-new vehicles versus carryover models, the organization found a 29-point separation — a wide spread considering all-new cars in 2010 ranked 18 points ahead of carryover models. “The auto industry has taken a battering during the past few years,” said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates in a statement. “However, it is clear that throughout this period, automakers have never lost sight of the fact that survival — and ultimately success — only comes from winning over customers in the showroom. Offering highly appealing vehicles is one of the primary means to succeed.” The APEAL study also went slightly against the grain of the Initial Quality Study, another J.D. Power report that measures major and minor problems owners have with new vehicles. Released in June, Ford took major hits in the IQS for its confusing MyFord Touch infotainment system and sloppy-shifting automatic transmissions. For the APEAL survey, however, Ford scored an above-average 16th place, and Lincoln, which ranked 17th place in the Initial Quality Survey, faired ever better with a ninth place ranking. On the other hand, while Chevrolet, Dodge, Nissan, Suzuki, and Honda each had vehicles that won class categories, each brand scored below average overall. Gathering data from February through May, J.D. Power and Associates surveyed 73,000 people about their overall vehicle satisfaction through the first 90 days of ownership. Distributed alongside the Initial Quality Survey, Sargent said that the two surveys are designed to complement one another. “In general, customers are also willing to pay more for vehicles that combine high appeal with high initial quality,” he said. Source: J.D. Power and Associates