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AutoPacific Releases 2001 Vehicle Satisfaction Scores

    TUSTIN, Calif., May 3 Results of a study released today by
noted automotive consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. reveal owner satisfaction
levels with new 2001 model year cars and light trucks.  The VSS
(Vehicle Satisfaction Score) study is an industry benchmark for objective new
vehicle buyer and lessee satisfaction.

    The top-rated brand for 2001 is Cadillac, taking the crown from last
year's winner Lexus.

    The individual vehicle model registering highest overall satisfaction for
a second consecutive year is Lexus' LS sedan, represented for 2001 by an
all-new LS430 model.  The highest-rated truck is Lincoln's Navigator, which
rose from 5th place in the 2000 study to claim top honors this year in a more
competitive product segment.

    "The corporate combination of Toyota and Lexus once again demonstrates
significant strength in the new vehicle arena with five segment winners,"
notes AutoPacific founder and president George Peterson.  "Ford also shines
with four class winners, while General Motors and Nissan each have three, and
Daimler-Chrysler and Honda each have two."  Joining the winner's circle for
the first time is Hyundai with its all-new Santa Fe sport utility.

     Top performers by segment are:

       Premium Luxury High Car        Lexus LS430              (repeat winner)
       Contemporary Luxury Car        Acura RL (tied)
                                      Infiniti I30 (tied)
       Luxury Car                     Cadillac DeVille         (repeat winner)
       Premium Mid-Size Car           Toyota Avalon
       Mid-Size Car                   Toyota Camry
       Compact Car                    Honda Civic
       Sports Car                     Mercedes-Benz SLK        (repeat winner)
       Sporty Car                     Ford Mustang
       Alternate Fuel Vehicle         Toyota Prius

       Large Pickup Truck             Toyota Tundra            (repeat winner)
       Compact Pickup Truck           Nissan Frontier
       4-Door Pickup Truck            Ford F-150 Super Crew
       Luxury Sport Utility           Lincoln Navigator
       Large Sport Utility            Ford Excursion
       Mid-Size Sport Utility         Jeep Grand Cherokee
       Compact Sport Utility          Hyundai Santa Fe
       Full-Size Van                  GMC Savana (tied)
                                      Chevrolet Express (tied)
       Minivan                        Nissan Quest

    Commemorating the 2001 study is a newly commissioned award that will be
given to manufacturers of the top-ranking vehicles in each segment.  The award
underscores AutoPacific's role as an auto industry specialist, featuring a
stylized and evocative vehicle shape mounted on a dramatic brushed aluminum

    In addition to establishing segment winners, VSS also establishes
numerical ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the
North American market.  Among passenger cars, following LS430 as top scorer is
Cadillac DeVille in second place, BMW 7-Series third, Toyota Avalon fourth and
Mercedes-Benz S-class fifth.  Among light trucks, ranking second behind
Lincoln Navigator is Ford Excursion, followed by Lexus RX300 in third,
GMC Yukon fourth and Acura's new MDX sport utility fifth.

    VSS ratings record satisfaction with vehicles overall, as well as with
some 40 features important to a vehicle's operation, comfort and safety.
Ratings reflect input from over 34,000 owners of new 2001 vehicles acquired
September-November 2000.

    AutoPacific releases VSS results yearly as a free consumer and industry
service.  In addition, AutoPacific offers a Satisfaction Benchmark Study (SBS)
that analyzes, on a feature-by-feature basis, cars and trucks in the
North American market.  This study allows manufacturers and key suppliers to
assess and compare their vehicles on a feature level with the best in the
business.  "We feel SBS is the best and most economical way for manufacturers
and suppliers to rate their own performance, and find out who is setting the
standard for satisfaction.  It then takes the analysis to the discrete level,
from cupholders to the dealership experience," says Peterson.