The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Strategic Vision 2009 Total Quality Index Ranks Dodge Ram 1500 Top of its Class


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SEE ALSO: Complete List of AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Awards Winners

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 29, 2009; The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 ranks at the top of the full-size truck segment in Strategic Vision Inc.'s (SVI) 2009 Total Quality Index(TM) (TQI). According to the survey released today, the Dodge Ram leads the way with the highest Total Quality score of any truck in the 15-year history of the study. Customers specifically noted that the Ram has the best added storage capability along with the best truck interior ever rated by customers.

"Our all-new 2009 Dodge Ram is rated by owners as the best truck ever built," said Doug Betts, Senior Vice President - Quality, Chrysler Group LLC. "It is a game-changing, class-leading truck that is second to none. This award confirms that we are making significant changes and improvements, which enhance the overall ownership experience and are being recognized by our customers."

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram features the industry's first-and-only RamBox(TM) cargo management system that includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated, drainable storage bins; pickup bed dividers; a two-foot bed extender and a cargo rail system with sliding adjustable cleats.

The 2009 Ram also includes the first-in-segment coil-spring five-link rear suspension fitted to a solid rear axle that provides ride and handling not found on any other pickup truck. A new 5.7-liter HEMI(R) V-8 engine with fuel-saving MDS technology provides more horsepower (390 hp) and torque (407 lb.-ft.) while its best-in-class aerodynamics (.387 Cd) improve fuel economy and performance.

"For truck buyers, the Dodge Ram has reclaimed its perceived leadership in innovation, a corporate hallmark," said Alexander Edwards, President of SVI. "We have tracked innovation as a critical dimension in success since 1979 and have shown that it has been the single most powerful factor in success across categories, especially among automobiles."

The Total Quality Index(TM) asks buyers to rate all aspects of the ownership experience from buying and owning to performance and driving - much more than simply counting issues. Results from studies that measure the number of issues or the overall satisfaction of a vehicle do not measure the customers' commitment to, advocacy for or loyalty to their vehicles accurately, according to Strategic Vision.

In addition, Chrysler Group LLC improved 15 points over 2008.

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Regular, Quad and Crew Cab models recently earned Five Star ratings for driver- and front-passenger protection in a frontal crash, the highest ratings in the U.S. government's safety crash test program. The U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is $22,170 (including $900 destination).

In addition to winning Strategic Vision's TQI, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram has earned 17 key awards since its introduction and was recently chosen by Car and Driver as the best full-size pickup in a head-to-head comparison test in Texas, beating the 2009 Ford F-150. Other key awards include:

  --  ICOTY - 2009 International Truck of the Year
  --  Texas Auto Writer's Association (TAWA) - 2009 Full-Size Pickup Truck
      of Texas
  --  MotorWeek - Best Pickup Truck
  --  Maxim - Achievement in Party-Enabling Technology (RamBox)
  --  Edmunds' Inside Line- A 2009 Editor's Most Wanted
  --  Edmunds' Inside Line - Best Full-size Pickup Truck
  --  Consumer Guide - Large Pickup - Best Buy for 2009
  --  Cars.com - Work Truck of the Year
  --  Truckin' magazine - Truck of the Year
  --  Autobytel.com - 2009 MyRide/Autobytel Editors' Choice Awards - Truck
      of the Year
  --  Ward's AutoWorld - Interior of the Year
  --  Rocky Mountain Automotive Press Association - Truck of the Year
  --  New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) - Best-in-Class Pickup
      Award
  --  Ward's AutoWorld - Ward's 10 Best Engines of 2009 (2009 Dodge Ram
      5.7-liter HEMI(R) engine)
  --  Automobile Journalists Association of Canada - Best New Pickup
  --  AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award

  --  Sobre Ruedas - Sobre Ruedas Best Pickup Truck for '08

The Total Quality Index(TM) was calculated from 20,101 buyers who bought 2008 and 2009 models from September to December 2008. Strategic Vision has presented Total Quality awards annually since 1995. Since its foundation in 1972 and incorporation in 1989, Strategic Vision has studied consumer and constituent decision-making for a wide variety of clients, including most auto manufacturers, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Procter and Gamble, the White House, 10 Downing Street, and many advertising agencies. Its unique expertise is identifying consumers' motivational hierarchies, including the values, emotions, and images that shape perceptions and behavior. The firm's in-depth Discovery Interviews and ValueCentered Surveys provide comprehensive, integrated and actionable outcomes, linking behavior to attributes to consequences to values and emotions to images.

About the Dodge Brand

With a work-hard, play-hard attitude, the Dodge brand continues to offer a full line of cars, trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and a sales-leading, fifth-generation minivan in 2009. Dodge will soon add to its award-winning Ram lineup with the introduction of its all-new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks.

Dodge introduced several new vehicles last year, including the all-new 2009 Dodge Journey, the 2009 Dodge Challenger and the 2009 Dodge Ram. Dodge also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the minivan during the 2009 model year. With more than 65 minivan-firsts introduced since 1983 and more than 12 million Dodge and Chrysler minivans sold, Chrysler LLC has solidified its leadership in the segment. The 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan continues to set the mark in minivan value with more than 40 new or improved features from the previous generation, including unsurpassed 17 city / 25 highway mpg fuel economy. The 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan is also the first minivan in the segment to feature the all-new Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path advance safety systems.

Also in 2008, the Dodge Journey entered key volume markets outside North America, joining the Dodge Avenger, Nitro and Caliber. Dodge Caliber was the highest sales volume vehicle for the company outside North America in 2008.