Survey shows consumers see improving quality for Ford; perception of Toyota drops

By AP
Friday, May 14, 2010

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Survey shows Ford gains in perceived quality

DETROIT — Ford posted the biggest increase in an automotive research group survey measuring consumer perceptions of vehicle quality.

The report released Friday by the Automotive Lease Guide, or ALG, showed that consumers gave Ford’s line of cars higher scores for quality in the spring than in a previous survey last fall. Kia vehicles and Ford trucks also showed gains.

Toyota, meanwhile, saw a big drop, saddled by the effects of huge vehicle recalls over safety concerns. Toyota was on the top of the ALG list in the fall but has since slid to number six.

“The thing about perception is that it is very hard to earn, but it is quite easy to lose it,” said Matt Traylen, ALG’s chief economist.

Consumer perceptions help determine how much value is retained by a used vehicle, a factor known as residual value. According to ALG’s market forecast data, Ford’s average residual values grew $2,420 in a year. The overall industry average rose $616 during the same time.

Ford said the gain was due to its new line of products, including sportier subcompacts for a global market and redesigned versions of its existing models. The company said it planned to use the ALG results in its sales materials.

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