According to product research results released by Synovate on Monday, consumers believe BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota build and sell the best quality vehicles on the SA market.

According to product research results released by Synovate on Monday, consumers believe BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota build and sell the best quality vehicles on the SA market.


The results of Synovate’s latest Competitive Customer Satisfaction Index (CCSI), which are based on interviews conducted with approximately 55 000 vehicle owners on an annual basis, show that standards are rising across the board, with this year’s overall ratings up 40 per cent on those recorded in 1998.


BMW and Mercedes-Benz tie for top spot in the best locally manufactured car category, and Toyota tops the overall volume car brand rankings. Toyota also ties for top slot with Ford and Mazda in the best locally manufactured commercial vehicle category.


In all, Toyota tops 13 categories in the report, followed by Mercedes-Benz with eight firsts, Ford (5), BMW (4), Audi (3), Mazda (2) and Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Opel (one each).


Included in the survey is a product quality measurement commonly known as PP100, which records the number of problems per 100 vehicles. Used extensively by local manufacturers to identify and correct product problems, PP100 has become the benchmark survey of SA customers’ quality perceptions.


Top products scored between 50 and 70 problems per 100 vehicles and Synovate managing director Albert McLean said those results compared “exceptionally well” with international standards.


“On average, the number of problems per 100 vehicles has improved by 100 problems since 1998,“ McLean said, adding that although export contracts awarded to some manufacturers played a role in improving quality, standards had gone up across the whole spectrum.


South Africa's Top Quality Vehicles - Vehicles are grouped into competing categories based on body shape, application and price, and are compared on this basis:


PASSENGER CARS
Category Position Brand
Entry Level Hatchback 1 Toyota Tazz
2 Ford Fiesta Flite (tie)
2 Opel Corsa Lite (tie)
Small Hatchback 1 Ford Fiesta 1,6 (tie)
1 Toyota RunX 140 (tie)
3 Opel Corsa 5-dr
Small Saloon 1 Toyota Corolla 140i
2 Opel Corsa Classic (excl. diesel)
3 Volkswagen Polo Classic (exl. Tdi)
Small Multi-Purpose Vehicle & Small Station Wagon

1 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
2 VW Golf Estate IV Estate (petrol & diesel) (tie)
2 Toyota Condor Estate (petrol & diesel) (tie)
Topline Hatchback 1 BMW 3 Series Compact (tie)
1 Audi A3 (Tdi) (tie)
3 Toyota RunX 140 (inc RSi)
Topline Small Saloon 1 Chrysler Neon
2 Toyota Corolla 140
3 Ford Focus
Medium Sized Car 1 Audi A4 (excl. Avant) (tie)
1 BMW 3 Series Diesel (tie)
1 BMW 3 Series (excl. Diesel, Tour, 2dr) (tie)
Sports Coupé 1 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (tie)
1 Mercedes-Benz CLK (tie)
1 Mercedes-Benz SLK (tie)
Top Executive Car 1 Mercedes Benz E-Class
2 BMW 5 Series
3 Audi A6
Large Multi-Purpose Vehicle & Large Station Wagon

1 Audi A4 Avant
2 Chrysler Grand Voyager
3 VW Caravelle T4 (diesel)
Small Recreational Vehicle 1 Toyota RAV4
2 Mitsubishi Pajero 3-dr
3 Nissan X-Trail
Large Recreational Vehicle 1 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
2 BMW X5
3 Mitsubishi Pajero 5-dr
PASSENGER CARS: OVERALL RANKING
Category Position Brand
Best Local Plant Manufacturing Passenger Cars

1 BMW (tie)
1 Mercedes-Benz (tie)
3 Toyota
Best Luxury Passenger Car Brand Overall 1 Mercedes-Benz
2 BMW
3 Audi
Best Volume Passenger Car Brand Overall 1 Toyota
2 Opel (tie)
2 Ford (tie)
LIGHT COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Segment Position Model
Half-Ton Pick-Up 1 Opel Corsa
2 Ford Bantam
3 Volkswagen Caddy
Petrol One-Ton Single-Cab Engine Size 2,2 litres

and smaller

1 Toyota Hilux (tie)
1 Mitsubishi Colt (tie)
3 Ford Ranger
Petrol One-Ton Single-Cab Engine Size larger

than 2,2 litres

1 Toyota Hilux
2 Nissan Hardbody
3 Mitsubishi Colt
Petrol One-Ton Double-Cab 1 Toyota Hilux
2 Mitsubishi Colt
3 Nissan Hardbody
Diesel One-Ton Single-Cab 1 Toyota Land Cruiser pick-up (tie)
1 Ford Ranger (tie)
3 Isuzu KB Series
Diesel One-Ton Double-Cab 1 Nissan Hardbody (tie)
1 Toyota Hilux (tie)
1 Mazda Drifter (tie)
LIGHT COMMERCIAL VEHICLES: OVERALL
Category Position Brand
Best One-Ton Petrol Light Commercial Vehicle

Overall

1 Toyota Hilux
2 Nissan Hardbody (tie)
2 Mitsubishi Colt (tie)
Best One-Ton Diesel Light Commercial Vehicle

Overall

1 Ford Ranger
2 Nissan Hardbody (tie)
2 Toyota Hilux (tie)
Best Local Plant Manufacturing Light Commercial

Vehicles

1 Toyota (tie)
1 Ford/Mazda (tie)
3 Mitsubishi
Best Overall Light Commercial Vehicle Brand 1 Toyota (tie)
1 Ford (tie)
3 Mazda


:: There will be more details about Synovate’s 2004 Competitive Customer Satisfaction Index (CCSI) and its research methodology in the November issue of CAR, on sale on the 25th. ::