October 7, 2004
Import vehicles dominate Strategic Vision Total Value Awards
San Diego, California – Import vehicles dominated Strategic Vision’s 2004 Total Value Index (TVI) released this week. Of the 20 vehicle categories, import vehicles were tops in 16 categories. TVI measures new owners sense of value in their vehicles by factoring all economic issues against the quality of the ownership experience.
Toyota had the most winners, four for Lexus (one a tie) and three for Toyota. Korean imports had the second highest number – three for Hyundai (one a tie) and one for Kia. Adding to a strong product experience for both were Toyota’s strong reliability, durability and resale value and Hyundai’s and Kia’s strong warranty.
European marques led in four segments, with two new Mercedes-Benz C-Class models at the head of their class. Domestic brands captured five first-place spots, with General Motors tying in two of its three wins.
A bright spot for the domestics was the strong showing of Fords’ new F-Series pickup that won handily in its segment. New owners rated it highly in ownership experience and scored its durability and reliability superior to its Japanese competitors.
In addition to leading the most segments, Lexus repeated as the top brand in Total Value (774). Mitsubishi was the most improved. Honda (750) was the highest full-line corporation, followed closely by Hyundai (747).
The Total Value Index measures the quality of the ownership experience – everything involved in buying, owning and driving a new vehicle. All economics issues, both immediate (price, affordability, deal offered, warranty and standard equipment) and expected (durability, future trade-in, mileage, economical to own and reliability) are then factored against that perceived quality.
“What you get for your money,” says Dr. Darrel Edwards, Strategic Vision president, “is vital in the value equation. A cheap price for a vehicle that doesn’t stir the buyer’s values and emotions will never be more than a cheap vehicle. One with strong perceived quality that scores well on the value factors will make a buyer feel like a real winner who made a smart choice.”
More than 69,000 buyers rated the following vehicles the best values in their segments:
Vehicle segment Make/model TVI Score Small Car Hyundai Elantra* 780 Compact Car Toyota Prius 815 Mid-Size Car Hyundai XG 350/Acura TSX (TIE) 779/778 Larger Car Mercury Marauder* 720 Sporty Coupes Under $25,000 Mini Cooper* 813 Sports Cars Over $25,000 Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 779 Medium Specialty Coupes Honda Accord Coupe*/ 755 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (TIE) 754 Near-Luxury Car Mercedes Benz C-Class Sedan 798 Luxury Car Lexus LS 430 799 Convertibles Under $30,000 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 735 Convertibles Over $30,000 Cadillac XLR/Lexus SC 430 (TIE) 784 Minivan Kia Sedona 731 Small SUV Hyundai Santa Fe 752 Medium SUV Toyota 4Runner 747 Large SUV Toyota Sequoia* 711 Near Luxury SUV Lexus RX 330* 789 Luxury SUV Lexus GX 470 746 Compact Pickup Nissan Frontier 699 Full-Size Pickup Ford F-150 723 Heavy Duty Pickup Dodge Ram 2500/3500* 722 * 2003 Total Value Award winners (Differences of 1-2 points are not statistically significant)