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ALG Report Says Ford Makes Biggest Gains in Perceived Quality

ALG's Spring 2012 Perceived Quality Study shows Ford, Hyundai enjoying the biggest leaps.

By Joshua Condon Jun 11, 2012 2:31PM
Photo by Ford.Automotive data analysis firm ALG has just published their latest perceived quality study, and once again the Japanese and Koreans have quite a bit to write home about -- though Ford has now jumped feet-first into the mix, as well.

According to ALG's Spring 2012 Perceived Quality Study, based on survey results from 3,000-4,000 U.S. consumers, the Blue Oval's score within the category has jumped almost 37 percent since 2008 (no doubt due to their heavy schedule of tech-laden new product roll-outs), making it the biggest mover in the mainstream category. That increase is good enough to push Ford up to fourth on the list among mainstream automakers, with an overall score of 70.5, just behind third-place Subaru (71.1). Honda and Toyota occupy the top two spots with scores of 81.3 and 80.1, respectively.

Also making waves was Hyundai, which saw its perceived quality score jump 25 percent since 2008, to 62.3 -- good for number 8 on the list. The average score for mainstream automaker perceived quality was 59.1, with Suzuki (48.1), Fiat (44.5) and smart (39.6) bringing up the rear.

In the luxury segment Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW took the top three spots with scores of 85.4, 82.9 and 81.5, respectively. Jaguar (58.8) was the lowest-ranked luxury automaker sold in the U.S. (Alfa Romeo actually scored lower with a mark of 56.2), with Land Rover (60.4) and Lincoln (67.0) eking out slightly higher scores.

You can read ALG's full report here.

[News source: Autoblog.]
Jun 12, 2012 10:04AM

Actually frosty, according to the article, the owners rated the PERCEIVED quality of the automobile, not the actual quality as you stated below. 


It helps to read the article.

Jun 12, 2012 7:42PM

So why have  Japanese car owners perceived their vehicles quality to be the best?


Well, according to you, most car buyers do not do their homework.  Therefore, according to your own admission, most car buyers buy what they THINK is the best choice for them.  They hear that Japanese cars are bullet proof and they think that the car they are buying will also be bullet proof.


The big question is “Why is that???????”


Well, the Japanese EARNED their reputation for building quality cars over a long period of time.  There is no question about that.  The big problem is they no longer DESERVE that reputation due to the models they have been building over the past few years.  Anyone who takes a simple test drive will find within seconds that Japanese quality has taken a major nose dive.  Cheap interior materials, sup-par build quality, and zero innovation come standard in nearly every model.  This is not my opinion.  This is a fact that is supported by nearly every major automobile reviewer.   I challenge you to look for yourself. 


I know this troubles you and I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  But is time to face the facts.  You will have to do it eventually.


Jun 13, 2012 6:12AM
i think all the car companies have room to improve.
Jun 12, 2012 7:39AM

"Perceived quality" is just basically saying that it looks nice.  This just seems like a stupid metric to me.


That being said, I've driven 3 different brand new (MY 2012) Fords and can attest to the actual quality in them.  The smoothness of the ride, the exterior styling, and the interior are three big things.  Currently I have a 2012 Fusion and I don't think I'd trade it for the world.  In MY opinion, it looks far better than an Accord or Camry, and the 2013 set to release shortly advances the gap even further.

Jun 13, 2012 11:29AM
"The big problem is they no longer DESERVE that reputation due to the models they have been building over the past few years.  Anyone who takes a simple test drive will find within seconds that Japanese quality has taken a major nose dive.  Cheap interior materials, sup-par build quality, and zero innovation come standard in nearly every model."

Wow. Once again, crisp and clear. You hit the nail on the head.

My question expounds on the above quote: why is it that only North American market gets products which are considered unacceptable or obsolete in other markets, and how much longer is this going to continue?
Jun 12, 2012 8:37AM
Wrong swimerman. The article said that it polled CONSUMERS, in other words, people that have done what you did......purchased and drove them. That's right, they polled Ford owners, GM owners, Chrysler owners as well as Japanese car owners and the OWNERS rated the quality. In other words, American car owners rate their cars as having a lower quality than Japanese car owners.
  What you are describing is aesthetics and comfort, the article is talking about quality which means "excellence or distinction" or how well built it is, not how cushy it rides or feels.
  I will agree that American made cars are more "cushy" but they are not better quality than the Japanese, as the article states.

Jun 12, 2012 12:50PM
OK, you're right. Out of all vehicle owners polled, Japanese car owners have perceived their vehicles quality to be the best. Why do you suppose that American car owners do not perceive their car's quality to be as high as Japanese vehicles??? And that being said, why are they buying the lesser quality vehicles when given the choice?
  Still, as stated, every professional knows that the Japanese in fact ARE  still building higher quality vehicles. So....perceive or not to perceive, it matters not.

Jun 12, 2012 5:08AM
I don't know why you guys continue to publish these type of articles when you know that it is going to piss off the people that INSIST that Detroit makes as high of quality vehicles as the Japanese.
  You know they don't, I know they don't, every car rating organization in the world knows they don't, every honest and knowledgeable mechanic knows they don't, but the "experts" that continue to buy Detroit's inferior products can't seem to accept the truth and this kind of stuff irritates them to no end.
  I say we cut them some slack, stop printing these truths, and let them have some happiness and false sense of owning the best made vehicles. What can it hurt? After all, if YOU love your vehicle, who cares what kind of ratings it gets compared to the competition?

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