Buyers of little known luxury brand are the happiest with purchase.
Buyers of little known luxury brand are the happiest with purchase.

New luxury car brand steals most satisfying mantle

Genesis, a luxury car brand that will launch in Australia later this year, has won a major US award for customer satisfaction.

Hyundai's luxury offshoot is the surprising champion of latest automotive performance, execution and layout (APEAL) survey.

The survey is the best customer satisfaction guide for Australians because local operations refuse to share car quality data as they do in the US and UK.

The brand knocked Porsche off its pedestal according to data gathered by US global automotive research company JD Power.

Genesis might not be known to Australian buyers but it will later this year when the G70 compact sedan spearheads the brand's local launch. Genesis also topped JD Power's initial quality survey earlier this year.

Coming soon: Genesis is launching in Australia later this year with the new G70 sedan.
Coming soon: Genesis is launching in Australia later this year with the new G70 sedan.

The APEAL survey ranks buyers' impressions across 10 categories including driving dynamics, infotainment, seats, storage and space and fuel economy.

Luxury brands dominated the survey with Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi rounding out the top five ranked brands.

There was a clear divide between luxury brands and mainstream makers. Popular car companies Mazda, Hyundai and Toyota all performed well below the industry average, ranking near the bottom of the survey. Ford and Volkswagen were two of the best performing mainstream brands.

Great expectation: Porsche is consistently near the top of the APEAL survey.
Great expectation: Porsche is consistently near the top of the APEAL survey.

But there is some good news. Mainstream brands are bridging the gap with an average 10 point improvement compared to 2017. Luxury marques on average only saw a six-point improvement compared to last year.

The categories that experienced the biggest improvement were driving dynamics (up 12 per cent), visibility and safety (up 11 per cent) and engine/transmission (up 10 per cent). No area experienced a fall.

This survey is less about vehicle quality and dependability and more about how customers feel about their purchase after three months of ownership. JD Power's other surveys focus on things gone wrong with cars after three months and three years of ownership.

Typically the gap between luxury and mainstream brands is much closer in these surveys.

"The automotive industry is performing exceptionally well, with manufacturers making record-breaking improvements year over year," says JD Power global automotive vice president Dave Sargent.

"There are a lot of high-quality, appealing vehicles in every segment of the market and shoppers don't have to spend a fortune to get one."

The JD Power survey is US-based and is not directly transferable to Australian products because some cars are sourced from different locations. However, the global nature of the automotive industry lends itself to a degree of uniformity.

Falling short: Toyota buyers in the US were some of the least satisfied with their purchase.
Falling short: Toyota buyers in the US were some of the least satisfied with their purchase.

 

The APPEAL survey gathers data from 69,000 new car buyers after 90 days of ownership.

How brands ranked (all scores out of 1000)

Genesis - 884

Porsche - 883

BMW - 863

Mercedes-Benz - 858

Audi - 853

Volvo - 850

Land Rover - 845

Lexus - 842

Infiniti - 841

Jaguar - 827

Chevrolet - 826

RAM - 825

Ford - 824

Mini - 823

Volkswagen - 823

Chrysler - 822

INDUSTRY AVERAGE - 820

Honda - 818

Kia - 816

Toyota - 809

Hyundai - 806

Nissan - 806

Subaru - 804

Jeep - 799

Mazda - 798

Mitsubishi - 783

Source: J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study


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