MRO Magazine

“American Quality is Already Great Again! Domestic Vehicles Win Majority of Total Quality Awards,” Says Strategic Vision.

June 16, 2016
By Business Wire News


Domestic automotive manufacturers won more Total Quality Awards than their foreign competitors, according to the latest results of Strategic Vision’s Total Quality ImpactTM (TQI) measure. Vehicles from Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Tesla combined for 16 winning vehicles, compared to 15 winning models from abroad. The victory was close, but significant. After almost a decade of lopsided defeats, American manufacturers have prevailed over imports for the second time in four years. The signs are clear. America is back.

The journey to the top did not happen by playing it safe. Manufacturers took bold, innovative, game-changing risks with several models that ended up winning Total Quality Awards this year. “We see time and again that for consumers, innovation does more to communicate quality than an absence of problems does,” says Christopher Chaney, Senior Vice President at Strategic Vision. Whether it comes in the form of breakthrough technology (Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-MAX Energi), re-engineering a vehicle (Ford F-150), or creating a new model (with the resurrected GMC Canyon), consumers feel the positive impact of bold new directions taken by manufacturers. The future of quality that is meaningful to buyers will reach beyond “no squeaks and rattles” and reside in the successful deployment of engineering innovation and technology that is relevant, intuitive, and impactful.

FORD F-150

When Ford announced plans to put an aluminum body on their signature product, many in the industry were cautious or skeptical. Since then, F-150 buyers have largely put those concerns over the truck’s quality to rest. An abundance of data from the New Vehicle Experience Study (NVES) shows that the truck’s aluminum body does not detract from the driver’s impression of its durability. In fact, the sense of security that the vehicle provides actually increased when Ford made the switch to aluminum. The lighter frame also improves economic factors such as fuel economy and cost of ownership, while adding other important benefits over the competition such as increased acceleration.

“Some auto manufacturers are hoping that attack ads on the Ford F-150 will convince shoppers of the lack of quality, hoping for similar success in election commercials,” says Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards. “However, the Ford F-150 has provided a quality product combined with a strong positive emotional experience that makes it a leader. Ford buyers will continue to cast their vote with the F-150.”


The Tesla Model S was again rated as the highest quality vehicle in the entire industry. The electric performance car consistently reinforces the fact that according to consumers, quality is far more than simply a lack of problems. The Model S does have its share of minor issues, but the innovation and excitement of the product overpowers any lasting negative feelings regarding those issues.

According to Karl Miller, Director of Marketing at Strategic Vision, “Even the way Tesla fixes problems often turns a product drawback into a benefit. To be able to fix problems and add features through a software download overnight instead of a trip to the dealer is a powerful tool. In many cases, it actually enhances their confidence in the product more than if the problem had never existed in the first place.”


Asian products generally did well in the more value-related categories. Subaru in particular had a strong showing, tying with Buick as the Best Mass-Market Brand and taking home Total Quality Awards for both the WRX and the XV Crosstrek.

The luxury-oriented segments saw a healthy dose of European winners. BMW, which was the Best Luxury Brand, has hit its stride with its hatchback and crossover offerings. The 3-Series Gran Turismo, X4, and X6 all won Total Quality Awards, and the X1, X3, and X5 were near the top of their segments.

Here is the full list of Total Quality Award winners:

  Micro Car     Fiat 500 Hatchback     640
Small Car Toyota Corolla 615
Small Multi-Function Car Mazda3 Hatchback 563
Small Alternative Powertrain (APT) CarFord C-MAX Energi 688
Mid-Size Car Subaru WRX 706
Mid-Size APT Car Chevrolet Volt 595
Full-Size Car Nissan Maxima 720
Near-Luxury Car Mercedes CLA-Class 744
Near-Luxury APT Car Lincoln MKZ Hybrid 656
Luxury Car Jaguar XJ 765
Luxury Multi-Function Car BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo 717
Specialty Coupe Dodge Challenger 736
Premium Coupe Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 812
Standard Convertible Ford Mustang Convertible 692
Premium Convertible/Roadster Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 772
Standard Pickup GMC Canyon 573
Full-Size Pickup Ford F-150 665
Heavy Duty Pickup GMC Sierra 2500/3500 643
Entry SUV Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 606
Entry CUV Subaru XV Crosstrek 623
Mid-Size SUV Jeep Grand Cherokee 619
Mid-Size CUV Kia Sorento 646
Full-Size Utility Chevrolet Tahoe 683
Near-Luxury Utility BMW X4 741
Luxury SUV Cadillac Escalade 694
Luxury CUV BMW X6 / Porsche Macan 725 / 725
Minivan Kia Sedona / Toyota Sienna 504 / 503
Best Model Tesla Model S 829
Best Brand Under $26,000 Fiat / Kia 557 / 554
Best Mass-Market Brand Buick / Subaru 588 / 585
Best Luxury Brand BMW 699
Best Full-Line Corporation Ford Motor Company / General Motors 588 / 586

Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Impact (TQI) is based on results from the New Vehicle Experience Study® surveying over 39,000 Jul.-Dec. new vehicle buyers after the first 90 days of ownership.

Strategic Vision is a research-based consultancy with over thirty-five years of experience in understanding the consumers’ and constituents’ decision-making systems for a variety of Fortune 100 clients, including most automotive manufacturers. Its unique expertise is in using ValueCentered® Psychology to identify consumers’ comprehensive, motivational hierarchies, which include the product attributes, personal benefits, value/emotions, and images that drive perceptions and behaviors. The newly enhanced Total Quality metric further incorporates the impact of problems with the vehicle as well as the drivers’ analytical and emotional evaluations of quality. These aspects are inseparably connected and crucial to measuring the impact of quality on the overall new vehicle experience. For further information contact Alexander Edwards or Christopher Chaney at (858) 576-7141.

Strategic Vision
Alexander Edwards / Christopher Chaney