J.D. Power and Associates' latest APEAL study reveals that domestic automotive brands have scored 13 points higher (on a 1000-point scale) than import brands.
Specifically, it's General Motors and Ford driving the improved scores for 2010 in APEAL, which stands for Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout. Last year, domestic brands were essentially tied with imports, with the difference being five points in favor of the imports.
"Domestic automakers have performed three important actions during the past two years that have led to their gains," said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power. "Firstly, they have retired many models that demonstrated low appeal. They have also introduced new, highly appealing models to their lineups, and finally, they have improved their existing models through freshenings and redesigns."
To that explanation, we might add a fourth: The domestic automakers didn't have a public relations disaster involving the recall of more than 8 million vehicles.
Ford earned five segment awards for the Expedition, Explorer Sport Trac, Flex, Fusion, and Taurus, while Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen each got two awards.
-Mercedes-Benz S-Class has the highest APEAL score of any vehicle.
-With a score of 877, Porsche has the highest score of any brand for the sixth year in a row.
-Suzuki is the most improved brand this year yet, with a score of 750, is still in fourth-to-last place ahead of Chrysler, Toyota, and Jeep.
-Surprised Toyota is in second-to-last place? Don't be. The APEAL study this year was conducted in February to May 2010 from about 76,000 owners of 2010 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
-Volkswagen Routan was the highest-ranked minivan, above the only other segment vehicle above average: the Honda Odyssey.
2010 APEAL Nameplate Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Land Rover 836
Industry Average 778
Source: J.D. Power and Associates