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Auto Lease Guide: Ford shows biggest gains in quality

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Auto Lease Guide: Ford shows biggest gains in quality

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Consumers are finally giving Ford Motor Co. credit for its quality gains, translating into higher residual values and auction prices for its used cars and trucks.

And that means lower lease prices for its customers.

According to the latest survey by Automotive Lease Guide, Ford posted the biggest gain in perceived quality -- increasing 4.7 points over the last six months. During the same period, ALG said the average residual value of Ford's cars increased by $2,400, while the industry as a whole saw only a $616 increase.

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"They're doing extremely well," said Matt Traylen, chief economist for ALG. "This has been a huge upswing for Ford."

Traylen attributed Ford's gains to the strength of its new products, its "disciplined" approach to incentives and to favorable public opinion stemming from its decision to forgo a taxpayer bailout last year.

"That was very important in consumer minds," he said. "Of course Ford's new products also ... have been very well received by the press and the public."

These findings are important, because ALG's numbers are used by banks and other lenders to set lease prices for cars and trucks.

Jim Farley, Ford's global head of sales and marketing, said this report will have an "immediate impact" on monthly payments for customers who lease a Ford, Mercury or Lincoln product.

Moreover, he said the value of Ford's cars and trucks is increasing at auction, meaning customers who buy their vehicles can expect to get thousands more back in their wallets when they trade them in.

On average, Farley said, Ford vehicles five years old or less are now selling for $3,000 more at auction than they were a year ago.

Farley said Ford will tout these gains in all of its upcoming advertising and sales promotions.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100514/AUTO01/5140414/1148/Auto-Lease-Guide--Ford-shows-biggest-gains-in-quality#ixzz0nw8bD2OS

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Ford and Kia rise in perceived quality; Toyota, GMC sink

02:09 PM

Ford and Kia are soaring in the minds of consumers as the brands that are making the biggest strides in improving quality and value.

Toyota and GMC are sinking.

So finds ALG, the service that tracks the predicted depreciation value of cars. ALG, which used to be known as Automotive Lease Guide, says Ford has "made dramatic improvements in both perceived quality and residual outlook." The truck line has done especially well.

Although Kia remains close to the cellar in terms of perceived quality, it's rising fast, ALG says, having shown big improvements.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, former consumer darling Toyota is "faced with negative recall effects and a flood of damaging publicity to their brand," causing its perceived quality score to slide. It was in first place in fall, 2009. Now it's in sixth place.

Of course, perceived quality is different than actual quality -- and automakers have always complained when the two don't match up.

link:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/05/ford-and-kia-rise-in-perceived-quality-as-toyota-gmc-sink/1

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