Consumers still consider Honda and Toyota as the top quality volume brands, according to a Perceived Quality Study conducted by ALG aimed at measuring consumers’ perception of brand quality. On a 100-point scale, Honda topped all brands with a score of 81.3, with Toyota at close second at 80.1. Subaru scored 71.1 to complete the top three.
The spring study also shows Ford and Hyundai making the most significant improvement in perceived quality in the past four years. The latest Perceived Quality Study shows that Ford’s quality perception jumped 37 percent to 70.5 while Hyundai’s score soared 25 percent to 62.3, compared with their scores in 2008, when the first Perceived Quality Study was conducted.
Scion (56.9), Kia (52.4), Chrysler (49.1), Dodge (48.8) and Fiat (44.5) all posted improvements from last year’s Perceived Quality Study, but still fell behind the industry average of 59.1. It should be noted that while Kia ranked dead last in the latest Perceived Quality Study, the Korean brand’s perceived quality has improved steadily over the past four years. The Perceived Quality Study used data from 3,000 U.S. consumers, all compiled in late April.
Eric Lyman, ALG’s vice president of residual value solutions, said that changing the perception of quality is a long-term proposition. He noted that consumers have appreciated the product improvements made by Ford and Hyundai. He also noted that while Honda and Toyota remained widely recognized as quality leaders, the gap between them and other carmakers continue to erode as consumers increasingly consider brands like Subaru, Ford and Hyundai.
Meanwhile, Lexus, a division of Toyota, continues to be consumer’s top choice among luxury brands, with a score of 85.4. Lexus is closely followed by German brands Mercedes-Benz (82.9), BMW (81.5) and Porsche (80). ALG discovered that owners have the penchant to rate their brands higher than other brands. In the latest Perceived Quality Study, ALG found out that brand owners scored their brands 17 percent higher than other brands.