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'Best Value Cars Not Cheapest. That's Why Tesla Ranked 'Incredible,' Hyundai and Domestics Lead,' Says Strategic Vision

tesla (select to view enlarged photo)
2014 Tesla Model S

SAN DIEGO--Nov 14, 2013: Strategic Vision has released the results of its 18th annual and comprehensive Total Value Index™ (TVI) study. “Value is absolutely not cheap; that’s why you have incredibly performing models like Tesla Model S and its owners ranking it as one of the best Valued cars in America,” explains Darrel Edwards, Ph.D. Executive Chairman and Founder of Strategic Vision. Strategic Vision’s study of over 45,952 new car buyers examined the quality of the buyer’s complete ownership experience and adds the customer’s assessment of economic consequences from two perspectives: (1) Immediate – or what is influential today (e.g. total down payment including drive-off costs, warranty costs, special incentive programs, etc.), and (2) Expected – what they believe the costs that emerge over time will be (e.g. expected Reliability, expected Durability, Resale Value, Durability, Fuel Economy, etc.).

“Value is absolutely not cheap; that’s why you have incredibly performing models like Tesla Model S and its owners ranking it as one of the best Valued cars in America”

Hyundai Motor Corporation was for the first time in the study’s 18-year history the Total Value leader among US industry automotive corporations. Hyundai Equus is both the Luxury Car leader and had the highest TVI score in the industry. Hyundai also produced segment winners with Sonata, Genesis Coupe and Elantra. Domestic manufacturers had the most models as Total Value segment leaders such as: Chevrolet Spark, Cruze, Volt and Traverse, and with Ford’s Fiesta Sedan, Fusion, Focus Hatchback, Taurus, Explorer and Lincoln Navigator, as well as others. But still, imports such as Toyota had Value leaders like Prius c, Scion FR-S, FJ Cruiser and Tacoma.

“The future of Total Value also plays heavily into the selling of more Alternative Powertrain (APT) fuel vehicles. The right product attributes, vehicle imagery and, of course, the customer’s personal values will make the difference,” says Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision. “Manufacturers have to merge the ‘wind-tunnel results’ and what’s in the customer’s hearts and minds, in order to motivate them into spending significantly more, because a vehicle has the right balance of styling, innovation, performance and environmental friendliness. Total Value captures this from a Value perspective and even becomes foretelling. Without Love, sales of APT fuel vehicles and others, will have to rely on incentives, subsidies and leasing options that make them more affordable, even for those buyers who earn over $150,000 annually,” continues Edwards.

No individual brand had more Total Value leaders than Chevrolet and Ford with five each. The Total Value segment with the greatest opportunity of improving sales is among the Standard Pickups. Strategic Vision’s other data indicates that there is substantial opportunity to sell a lot of trucks from this segment if manufacturers can merge the core value factors of Durability, Resale Value and Reliability with great motivating styling, the right Standard Equipment and “meaningful” Innovation, all with about 26 MPG or better (ideally speaking). This would launch a “sales-revival” to the likes of Full-Size Pickup sales.

Strategic Vision has presented Total Value™ annually since 1995. Based on Strategic Vision’s quantitative “ValueCentered®” NVES study, the Total Value Index was calculated from buyers who purchased 2013 models during September 2012 to March 2013. The following list contains the number one ranked vehicles in Total Value in their segments as rated by new vehicle buyers:

Micro Car Chevrolet Spark 667
Small Car Fiesta Sedan/Cruze/Elantra Sedan (tie) 653/651/651
Small Multi-Function Car Ford Focus Hatchback 716
Small APT Car Toyota Prius C 630
Mid-Size Car Hyundai Sonata/Ford Fusion (tie) 686/686
Mid-Size Multi-Function Car Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 637
Mid-Size APT Car Chevrolet Volt 711
Life-Size Car Ford Taurus/Dodge Charger 635/634
Near-Luxury Car Cadillac ATS/Lexus ES 350 696/694
Luxury Car Hyundai Equus 804
Luxury Multi-Function Car Volvo XC70 621
Specialty Coupe Scion FR-S 708
Premium Coupe Hyundai Genesis Coupe 727
Standard Convertible MINI Cooper Roadster 726
Premium Convertible/Roadster Porsche Boxster 708
Standard Pickup Toyota Tacoma 595
Full-Size Pickup Chevrolet Avalanche 618
Heavy Duty Pickup GMC Sierra 2500/3500 550
Entry SUV Toyota FJ Cruiser 623
Entry CUV Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 653
Mid-Size SUV Ford Explorer 650
Mid-Size CUV Chevrolet Traverse 648
Full-Size Utility GMC Yukon XL 608
Near-Luxury Utility Cadillac SRX 673
Luxury SUV Lincoln Navigator 651
Luxury CUV Porsche Cayenne 649
Minivan Toyota Sienna 627
Best Model Hyundai Equus 804
Special Award APT Tesla Model S 786
Best Full-Line Corporation Hyundai Motor Corporation 648