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Non-Premium Brands Edge Up More than Premium Brands in 2016 U.S. APEAL Study

Non-Premium Brands Edge Up More than Premium Brands in 2016 U.S. APEAL Study

By Philly Murtha, July 31, 2016
Although luxury, or premium, auto brands in the U.S. market tend to delight their owners more than their non-premium counterparts, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study,SM non-premium brand improvement outpaces the advance for luxury marques this year. Compared with last year, the Non-Premium segment average rises 4 points to 794 (out of a possible 1,000 points), whereas the Premium segment sees only a 3-point increase to 844 points.

Porsche retains its highest overall ranking among premium brands in the APEAL Study for a 12th consecutive year, with an index score of 877. Three Porsche models (911, Boxster, and Macan) receive 2016 APEAL Study segment-level awards. BMW (859) moves into the second rank position among Premium brands, with a 5-point improvement, and also receives three APEAL Study segment-level awards (2 Series, X1, and X6).

Among Premium brands, Lexus (843—up 12 points) advances five rank positions to place fifth, with a boost from the redesigned RX-Series, although only one model, the RC, receives an APEAL Study segment-level award. Volvo (839) shores up the largest point gain (+14 points) among luxury brands and ranks ninth overall, with momentum from the top-volume, new XC90. Lincoln (843) also improves its score in the 2016 U.S. APEAL Study due to the redesigned MKX and the MKZ’s improved performance.

Among Non-Premium brands, Volkswagen (809), Mini (808), and Kia (807) each manage to outpace the premium Acura (806) brand, which has the lowest score among luxury brands this year. Also, VW moves to the top of the Non-Premium brand rank chart from third last year. It’s the first time since 2001 that Germany’s mass market brand leads all Non-Premium nameplates. In addition, Toyota (796—up 15 points) gains the most rank positions of any Non-Premium brand, moving from the 17th position to eighth. Other Non-Premium brands to improve their APEAL Study scores and/or rank standings from 2015 are Kia (807), Ford (803), Ram (803), Honda (795), Subaru (793), Mitsubishi (770), Fiat (755), and Smart (745).

Additional Research:

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