VW/Audi, Ford, Hyundai top value awards

The value landscape is changing. VW/Audi earned the most awards and Ford made big advances in Strategic Vision’s annual Total Value Index. But the Hyundai Sonata set a new record for all segments, luxury included.

Strategic Vision’s Total Value Index (TVI) findings are a way of summarizing a very comprehensive collection of over 442 data points on over 100,000 new-car buyers annually. Now in its fourteenth year as a comprehensive “value study,” the TVI for 2010 indicates that value leadership is evolving.

While Volkswagen/Audi, combined, claimed the most category winners, Ford ranked ahead of Honda for the first time in the study’s history. And the 2011 Hyundai Sonata’s superlative performance – the highest score in the history of the study – caused Strategic Vision to establish a new award.

“Typically we do not include ‘early-next-calendar-year’ launch models in our current calendar year studies, but in the case of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, its performance was so outstanding we created a new “Special Total Value Award” just to recognize a truly superior value accomplishment,” says Strategic Vision founder and chairman Darrel Edwards.

According to Edwards, “When the data came back on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, it was so impressive it prompted us to re-examine it several times to be certain. The findings were solid with particular superiority among owners ranking Value for Money, Technical Innovation, Standard Equipment, Fuel Economy and a great Warranty all wrapped in vehicle with eye catching styling.” Hyundai also had two other segment leaders with Genesis (Near Luxury Car) and Tucson (Small SUV).

VW/Audi score most segment wins

Despite Hyundai’s rising success, Volkswagen/Audi led all corporations with seven models achieving segment-leader status. Audi was the top Luxury brand with Audi A8, TT Coupe, A5 and Q7 all category leaders.

Strategic Vision’s vice-president, Christopher Chaney notes: “Ford ‘s ranking ahead of Honda is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that just eight years ago they ranked last among all corporations. Ford Fusion ranked first among the popular mid-size cars, and Ford also had class leaders with Lincoln MKT, Flex, F150 and F250/350.”

Chaney adds, “It’s certainly not that other manufacturers have completely fallen, it’s that the bar is being raised with the buyer ultimately winning.”

Honda, Nissan, GM, Chrysler and Toyota must all take notice and respond to where the consumers want to go, Strategic Vision says. This is a difficult economy. Times are hard and people are working harder than ever. Increasingly, shoppers will define value as more than the listed residual or resale value numbers, and include “What am I getting now that I have spent tens of thousands of my hard earned dollars?”

Segment leaders

Following are the number-one ranked vehicles in Total Value in their segments, as rated by new vehicle buyers:

Segment Winner(s) TVI Score

Small Car Honda Civic Hybrid 814
Honda Civic Coupe 812
Small Multi-Function Volkswagen Golf 790
Mid-Size Car Ford Fusion 802
Mid-Size Multi-Function Subaru Outback 760
Large Car Volkswagen CC 806
Near-Luxury Car Hyundai Genesis 852
Luxury Multi-Function Lincoln MKT 815
Luxury Car Audi A8 821
Specialty Coupe MINI Cooper Hatchback 817
Premium Coupe Audi TT Coupe 816
Mid Specialty Honda Accord Coupe 781
Convertible Saturn Sky 817
Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 814
Premium Convertible Audi A5 Cabriolet 820
Minivan Volkswagen Routan 748
Honda Odyssey 746
Entry Utility Hyundai Tucson 800
Mid-Size Crossover Utility Ford Flex 786
Mid-Size Traditional Utility Toyota 4Runner 762
Large Utility GMC Yukon 747
Near-Luxury Utility Mercedes-Benz GLK 799
Luxury Utility Audi Q7 798
Standard Pickup Honda Ridgeline 732
Full-Size Pickup Dodge Ram 1500 767
Ford F-150 766
Heavy Duty Pickup Ford F-250/350 698

The Total Value Index™ was calculated from 111,212 U.S. buyers who bought models during September 2009 to June 2010. Strategic Vision has presented Total Value Awards™ annually since 1995.

The calculation of Total Value begins with clear statements that owners make about value (e.g. expected reliability, expected fuel economy, price paid, expected resale value, innovation, etc.). Total Value then incorporates the importance of the variables that make up the ownership experience. The “True Value” is the worth of the attribute weighed against the costs.

Strategic Vision is a research-based consultancy with 35 years of experience in understanding the consumers’ and constituents’ decision-making systems for a variety of clients, including most automotive manufacturers.

About Todd Phillips

Todd Phillips is the editorial director of Universus Media Group Inc. and the editor of Canadian auto dealer magazine. Todd can be reached at tphillips@universusmedia.com.

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