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J.D. Power 2005 Automotive Performance, Execution

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Link: http://www.jdpower.com/news/releases/press....asp?ID=2005174

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
New-Vehicle Buyers Increasingly Attracted to Models with Innovative Features Highlighting Comfort and Convenience


Models with High APEAL Ratings Move Faster from Dealership Lots


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 21 September 2005 — New-vehicle buyers are increasingly attracted to models that offer high levels of comfort and convenience, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study released today.

The study, now in its 10th year, measures owners’ delight with the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicles. Overall industry APEAL has increased annually for the past nine years, in part due to the continual introduction of a large number of all-new and redesigned models, which tend to garner higher APEAL scores. The 2005 study includes more than 50 all-new or redesigned models in 2005—up from 43 in 2004. While styling and exterior design continue to be most important to new-vehicle buyers, features dealing with the vehicle’s interior, such as seats and comfort/convenience, have increased in importance over the past five years.

"As more and more new designs hit the market, manufacturers are finding it increasingly difficult to make their new models stand out," said Chance Parker, executive director of product and research analysis at J.D. Power and Associates. "While vehicle styling is still vital in setting a model apart from the pack, consumers are increasingly attracted to vehicles that offer innovative storage options and other features that make the driving experience more comfortable and convenient."

The study finds that models receiving exceptionally high APEAL ratings from buyers generally stay on dealers’ lots for less time before being sold. For example, the all-new Honda Ridgeline, which ranks highest in APEAL in the compact pickup segment, stay on dealers’ lots an average of 24 days, compared to the segment average of 77 days. This is also true of older models. The Nissan Murano, top-ranked among midsize SUVs, stays an average of 47 days on lots, compared to the segment average of 72 days.

"Vehicles with high APEAL scores are less likely to require major incentive programs to attract buyers and to move them from dealer lots, which typically yield higher profits for the manufacturer and dealer," said Parker.

Four Lexus models top segment rankings, while Chevrolet, Kia, Honda and Nissan each receive two segment awards. This marks the first time Kia models have ranked highest in a segment in the study.

Among all-new or redesigned models included in the study for 2005, the Pontiac G6, Toyota Avalon, Lexus GS 300/GS 430, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, Honda Ridgeline, Kia Sportage, Lexus RX 400h and Honda Odyssey each rank highest in their respective segments. Also topping segment rankings are the MINI Cooper, Kia Amanti, Lexus IS 300/IS 300 SportCross, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus LS 430, Cadillac Escalade EXT, GMC Sierra HD, Nissan Murano, Nissan Armada, Land Rover Range Rover and Chevrolet Express.

The 2005 APEAL Study is based on responses from more than 115,000 new-vehicle owners who were surveyed during the first 90 days of ownership. Eight categories of vehicle performance and design are measured to assess buyer satisfaction, including: engine/transmission; ride, handling and braking; comfort/convenience; seats; cockpit/instrument panel; heating, ventilation and cooling; sound system; and styling/exterior.

Vehicle buyer profiles for top-ranked models, which include most popular color, average APR paid and buyer demographics, are available at the J.D. Power Consumer Center.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education and BusinessWeek. The Corporation has more than 300 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2004 were $5.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

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I'm not at all suprised Saturn is in last place with Chevrolet not far behind. With the new products not effecting either brand line until next year or the year after, I don't expect either to do so hot until then. New products are 90% of the time the winners for such reports. That's what keeps most of the foreign products on top (more newer products more often)
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