Volkswagen Group and Ford Motor Co. fared well among automakers in an annual study released today measuring quality and how deeply consumers feel about a new car or light-truck purchase after several months of ownership.
And for the first time in over a decade, domestic automakers, led by GM, topped foreign brands in individual product segments surveyed by Strategic Vision, a California research and consulting firm.
In addition to tracking problems, the study measured emotions and perceptions of more than 442 functions and other vehicle attributes owners develop with a new-vehicle purchase. Key attributes measured are performance, driving characteristics and styling.
"There's no questioning domestic car makers want to lead," Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards said in a statement. "And it's now forcing all manufacturers to build the most superior, innovative and holistically quality vehicles possible to gain the hearts and minds of the customer."
Strategic Vision's 18th annual Total Quality Index is based on responses from 17,568 respondents who purchased 2013 models from Sept. 2012 through Nov. 2012.
Based on a summary of all brands and models, Volkswagen Group was the top company, with its Audi brand tied with Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus brand as best individual brand. Ford Motor Co. came in second, while General Motors and Hyundai Motor Corp. tied for third as best companies.
General Motors had six segment leaders: the Chevrolet Corvette coupe, Chevrolet Corvette convertible, Chevrolet Traverse crossover, GMC Yukon large SUV, Buick Enclave near-luxury SUV and the Chevrolet Avalanche large pickup.
In the competitive mid-sized sedan segment, the Ford Fusion came out on top.
The Dodge Dart, introduced in 2012, replaced the Fiat 500 as the top small car.
Other winners from Chrysler were the 200 convertible, Town & Country minivan, and Dodge Durango SUV. The Hyundai Genesis and Audi A4 sedan tied in the near-luxury car segment, while the Kia Soul was the leader in popular small multifunction segment.