Toyota’s Quality Score Drops 20% in ALG Spring 2010 PQS, from 1st to 6th Place
Leaves Honda with Huge Lead Among Mainstream Brands
Ford Surge Continues, Kia Gains Traction
Lexus Drops from 1st to 3rd Place Among Luxury Brands
Santa Barbara, CA, March 22, 2010 – ALG, Inc., a subsidiary of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRAK) and the industry benchmark for residual values and depreciation data, today announced that Toyota suffered a sharp drop from 1st to 6th place among mainstream brands in ALG’s Spring 2010 Automotive Consumer Attitudes Survey, leaving Honda with a commanding lead over all other mainstream brands.
Toyota’s Perceived Quality Score (PQS) of 67.6 was down a remarkable 20% from
84.0 in the ALG Fall PQS 2009 survey. Honda’s score of 83.2 was down 1%, but 12.6 percentage points above runner-up Nissan’s score of 70.6, which was up 3% from last fall. Rounding out the top five mainstream brands were Ford Trucks (up 5%), Subaru (up 4%) and Volkswagen (down 1%).
"Toyota’s dramatic decline in ALG’s Spring 2010 PQS obviously reflects its recent quality issues and the ensuing media storm around its massive vehicle recalls," said Matt Traylen, ALG’s Chief Economist. "Assuming there are no further quality problems, the media focus gradually diminishes, and Toyota stops its heavy incentive spending within three to six months, we would expect Toyota’s PQS to stabilize and begin to improve later this year. However, reclaiming the top spot from Honda will clearly be a formidable task."
Lexus also lost its position atop the luxury PQS rankings, falling to 3rd place. However, its 6% decline from the Fall 2009 survey left it with a PQS of 81.5, still relatively strong and only 1.7 percentage points behind the new luxury leader, Mercedes Benz. Mercedes’ PQS of 83.2 was up 1% from last fall, while BMW was second at 82.6 (down 1%). Porsche and Acura rounded out the top five luxury brands. Other than Lexus, the biggest change among luxury brands was Saab’s 5% decline from last fall’s survey.
Mr. Traylen commented, "While Lexus’ PQS has been affected by the recent recalls and media attention, its declines are not nearly as significant as Toyota’s. With the top eight luxury brands only 10 percentage points apart in the Spring 2010 rankings, consumers seem to view the most competitive brands as offering relatively similar product quality."
The biggest gainer among mainstream brands was Kia (up 10%), although its score of 47.1 remains relatively low. Ford Cars were up 8% to a score of 66.8, less than a percentage point behind Toyota and good for 7th place on the mainstream list. Also posting strong gains were Hyundai and Chevrolet Cars (both up 5%). ALG tabulates results separately for domestic manufacturers’ cars and trucks/SUVs due to the wide perception gap that exists between these two categories.
"Among the domestic OEMs, these results highlight the enormous progress made by Ford over the last couple of years," Mr. Traylen said. "Ford has made a concerted effort to build vehicles better aligned with consumer demand – including an entire portfolio of all-new or redesigned products – and to limit brand-damaging incentives and rental fleet sales."
ALG’s PQS is based on a proprietary rating scale derived from surveys of car and truck owners in the U.S., which then determines the relative positions of mainstream and luxury brands. The complete list with scores is available at: https://www.alg.com/pdf/pqs_2010_spring.pdf
Based in Santa Barbara, California, ALG is a leading provider of data and consulting services to the automotive industry. ALG publishes the "Automotive Lease Guide" – the standard for Residual Value projections in North America, and has been forecasting automotive residual values for over 40 years in both the U.S. and Canadian markets. ALG is a company of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRAK).
DealerTrack’s intuitive and high-value software solutions enhance efficiency and profitability for all major segments of the automotive retail industry, including dealers, lenders, OEMs, agents and aftermarket providers. Our solution set for dealers is the industry’s most comprehensive. DealerTrack operates the industry’s largest online credit application network, connecting approximately 17,000 dealers with over 800 lenders. Our Dealer Management System (DMS) provides dealers with easy-to-use tools with real-time data access that will streamline any automotive business. With DealerTrack AAX, dealers get the inventory management tools and services needed to accelerate turns and increase profit. Our Sales and F&I solution enables dealers to streamline the entire sales process, quickly structuring all types of deals from a single integrated platform. DealerTrack’s Compliance solution helps dealers meet legal and regulatory requirements and protect their hard-earned assets. DealerTrack’s family of companies also includes data and consulting services providers ALG (Automotive Lease Guide) and Chrome Systems.
Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
Statements in this press release regarding ALG’s Perceived Quality Study and any conclusions or statements based thereon, and all other statements in this release other than the recitation of historical facts are forward-looking statements (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements of DealerTrack to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.
Factors that might cause such a difference include: the sample size of the study, changes in consumer demand and/or perception, and other risks listed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009. These filings can be found on DealerTrack’s website at www.dealertrack.com
and the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov
Forward-looking statements included herein speak only as of the date hereof and DealerTrack disclaims any obligation to revise or update such statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances.