ALG Finds Honda, Mercedes-Benz Rank Highest For Perceived Quality Among Mainstream And Luxury Segments, Respectively

European brands dominate Luxury category; Jeep has high perception of quality among Millennials

When it comes to value, perception is reality. And consumers perceive that Honda and Mercedes-Benz deliver the highest quality vehicles according to ALG, the analytics division of TrueCar and the industry benchmark for forecasting future automotive values, which today announced the results of its Brand Perception of Quality (BPQ) study.

Honda received the highest ratings among Mainstream brands, followed by Toyota and Volkswagen. Mercedes-Benz received the highest ratings among Premium brands, followed by Lexus and BMW. European automakers netted six of the top seven Premium brand spots. The mix was a bit more varied among Mainstream brands. While three of the top four spots were held by Japanese automakers (Honda, Toyota, Subaru), domestic brands GMC, Ford and Buick were all among the next tier.

“When consumers buy a car, brand perception directly impacts how quickly the vehicle will depreciate,” said Larry Dominique, President of ALG and Executive Vice President at TrueCar. “Many consumers lack any real experience with the brand, so there is often a gulf between perception and reality. When deciding on a car purchase, consumers need to consider more than just build quality – they need to consider how the brand is perceived in the marketplace.”

Among college-educated respondents, Volkswagen and Subaru saw lifts in their favorability. Among Millennials, Jeep leapfrogs into the top three brands.

“Millennials value transparency and authenticity and Jeep positions itself as authentically rugged,” said Dominique.

Brands with less familiarity among consumers tend to be perceived less favorably. Alfa Romeo – set to return the U.S. by 2015, is a good example of a brand that will need to establish greater awareness before it can change perception.

ALG surveys 30,000 recent car buyers in conjunction with Strategic Vision’s New Vehicle Experience Survey (NVES) and asks them to rate the quality of all brands. The calculated index removes the rating for the brand that the consumer purchased. BPQ rankings are indexed on a 100-point scale based on survey respondents’ qualitative scores, ranking aspects of vehicle brands.

About ALG

Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, with an office in Toronto, Ontario, ALG is an authority on automotive residual value projections in North America. By analyzing nearly 2,500 vehicle trims each year to assess residual value – which is mainly driven by used car inventory, brand strength, macroeconomic conditions, incentive spending and pricing – ALG provides auto industry and financial services clients with resale insights, forecasts and consulting services about the future vehicle marketplace. ALG, owned by TrueCar, Inc., the negotiation-free car-buying platform, has been publishing residual values for all cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. for 50 years and in Canada since 1981. The 2015 Residual Value Awards, honoring new vehicles projected to best maintain their value, will be announced Nov. 17.

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