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Consumers find new vehicles more 'APEAL-ing' than ever: J.D. Power

August 11, 2017
Car owners’ love affair with new vehicles is stronger than ever, as evidenced by a 9-point increase in the APEAL index from last year — tied for the largest gain ever — a new J.D. Power study indicates.
 
In this year’s U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, the industry average APEAL index increases to 810 points (on a 1,000-point scale), propelled by significantly better scores in nine of the 10 categories measured and in 19 of the 32 brands in the study making positive gains in their performance, compared with 2016.
"Many automakers are getting better and better at giving consumers what they want in a vehicle," said Dave Sargent, a vice president at J.D. Power. "The industry is doing a very good job of creating vehicles customers like across every segment, and the APEAL study identifies why this is. One clear reason is that non-premium vehicles are increasingly offering technology and safety features found in premium vehicles."
Some of the study’s key findings:
 
• Premium and mass market brands are getting closer. The average APEAL index score for the non-premium segment (804) improves by 10 points year over year, while the premium segment (845) improves by just 1 point. The gap between the two segments has narrowed to an all-time low of 41 points.
• Some vehicles deliver outstanding levels of APEAL as well as IQS. Eight models receiving APEAL segment awards also receive awards in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study: BMW 2 Series; Chrysler Pacifica; Kia Cadenza; Kia Niro; Kia Soul; MINI Cooper; Porsche 911; and Porsche Macan. The all-new Genesis brand ranks second in both APEAL and IQS this year, while Porsche ranks top in APEAL and third in IQS.
"Manufacturers are making ever-higher quality vehicles, but this is not coming at the expense of performance, styling, utility or features," Sargent added.
The 2017 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement across 77 attributes, ranging from the power they feel when they step on the gas to the sense of comfort and luxury they feel when climbing into the driver’s seat. The attributes are combined into an overall APEAL index score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale. 
The study, now in its 22nd year, is based on responses gathered from February through May 2017 from nearly 70,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and develop more appealing vehicles and by consumers to help them in their purchase decisions. 
 
 

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