Global research giant Ipsos’ ninth Quality Awards for Product Quality, a benchmark in owner’s experience in the automotive industry that is conducted over a 12 month period and measures the perceptions of owners of more than 10 000 passenger and light commercial vehicles, has been released.
From the research conducted between January and December 2012, which includes products from 19 manufacturers, the standout vehicle is the Lexus IS, which boasted a low score of 11 problems per 100 units. Other top performing manufacturers include Mazda, Audi and Chevrolet, Toyota and Isuzu. Owners are interviewed three months after purchasing their vehicles to determine the types, if any, problems experienced.
“There is no clear dominance by one brand across the categories.” Mercedes-Benz wins Gold for best local plant, Lexus for best premium brand and Mazda for best volume brand. This is great for the automotive industry and re-introduces some new competition. Some of the other brands have caught up to the traditional benchmarks in product quality and this bodes well for the industry as well as the consumer,” says Patrick Busschau, Automotive Business Unit Director at Ipsos.
An indication that all manufacturers are improving in providing a quality product to customers, is the that the overall average for passenger vehicles has decreased from 41 problems per 100 to 39.
“Although not a significant drop, it is an indication of the ongoing improvement trend from previous years. Yielding lower scores is proving more and more challenging as there is not as much room for further differentiation and improvement.” Busschau says.
In the entry level segment, Volkswagen’s Polo Vivo Sedan scored 18 PP 100 – well below the 34 PP 100 average score for that segment. In the small hatch segment, the Mazda2 scored 13 PP 100, while the top hatch segment leader was Audi’s A3 – with 13 PP 100.
The small sedan segment had a tie for first place, with Chevrolet’s Sonic and Toyota’s Corolla scoring between 24 and 25 PP 100. The Mazda3 took top sedan with 16 PP100.
Top executive has three tied gold awards between the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. “Last year the E-class was the only model with an award in this segment differentiating itself from these competitors” explains Busschau. “Here is one example of the other models starting to challenge the tradition and this presents with a new competitive edge in the segment wherein the results are statistically the same.
Audi’s A5 and BMW’s 1 Series tied for first in the sports coupe segment, with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and SLK tied for second, and Volkswagen ‘s Scirocco in third.
With regard to recreational vehicles, BMW’s X1 and Kia’s Sportage rules the small recreational vehicles roost, both scoring 15 PP 100. The large recreational vehicle segment’s frontrunner is the Audi Q7, with the seconds lowest score in the entire survery at 12 PP 100. Chevrolet’s Orlando and Mercedes’ B-Class were the top performers in the multi-purpose vehicle segment, scoring 28 PP 100. Toyota’s Avanza and VW’s Touran were tied in second place with 42 to 44 PP 100. In third was the Toyota Verso, with 54 PP 100.
Nissan’s NP200 was at the top of the three-quarter ton segment of light commercial vehicles with a score of 56 PP 100, with Chevrolet’s Utility in second place with 85 PP 100. Toyota’s Hilux took top honours for diesel double cabs with 33 PP 100, but Isuzu’s KB swept the petrol single cab, petrol double cab and diesel single cab segments.