TodayApril 16, 2022

Ford and Hyundai may take your breath away, says Strategic Vision

2011 Hyundai Sonatas highest Total Value score in the history of the study”and that is in all of the segments, luxury included.

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

Volkswagen of America (with Audi) leads all corporations with seven models being segment leaders as well as the most of any Luxury brand with Audi A8, TT Coupe, A5 and Q7. “Ford Motor Corporations ranking ahead of American Honda Motor is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that just eight years ago they ranked last among all corporations,” says Strategic Visions Vice President Christopher Chaney.

Honda, Nissan, GM, Chrysler and Toyota corporations are all producing valued products, but they must all take notice and respond to where the consumers want to go. Manufacturers must increasingly be more open and honest with themselves. This is a difficult economy. Times are hard and people are working harder than ever. Increasingly, shoppers will define value as more than what the listed residual or resale value numbers are, and include “what I am getting today now that I have spent tens of thousands of my hard earned dollars.” Its an interesting challenge for product planners and marketers, but the payoff can be more sales and loyalty.

Other brands with multiple models leading their segments are Honda, Ford, VW and Audi.

The domestics are doing well, and improving (especially Ford). Buick was the most improved brand in Total Value for 2010.
According to Strategic Vision there were two additional interesting pieces:

Expected resale from the customer was not as “important” as previous years. Instead customers today seem to want to experience a terrific value today and not worry as much as in previous years about what the vehicle will be worth 5 “ 7 years later.

Incentives required to sell vehicles have skyrocketed for every brand. The brands that have kept their financial incentives lower than others are Scion, Honda, Subaru and Land Rover. Scion is already at a value proposition. For the other brands, the fact that they have refrained from using incentives more than others suggest (from historical comparisons) that they will be seen as having more intrinsic value and have more integrity for buyers in the future.

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

Special Total Value Award – 2011 Hyundai Sonata 860
Small Car -Honda Civic Hybrid / Civic Coupe 814/812
Small Multi-Function -Volkswagen Golf 790
Medium Car – Ford Fusion 802
Medium Multi-Function – Subaru Outback 760
Larger Car – Volkswagen CC 806
Near-Luxury Car – Hyundai Genesis 852
Luxury Car – Audi A8 821
Luxury Multi-Function – Lincoln MKT 815
Small Specialty (<$28,000) – MINI Cooper Hatchback 817 Premium Coupe (>$28,000) – Audi TT Coupe 816
Mid-Specialty Car – Honda Accord Coupe 781
Convertible (<$30,000) – Saturn Sky / Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 817/814 Convertible (>$30,000) – Audi A5 Cabriolet 820
Minivan – Volkswagen Routan / Honda Odyssey 748/746
Small SUV – Hyundai Tuscon 800
Medium SUV – Toyota 4Runner 762
Medium Crossover – Ford Flex 786
Large SUV – GMC Yukon 747
Near Luxury SUV – Mercedes GLK 799
Luxury SUV – Audi Q7 798
Standard Pickup – Honda Ridgeline 732
Full-Size Pickup – Dodge Ram 1500 / Ford F150 767/766
Heavy Duty Pickup – Ford F-250/350 698

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

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.