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Critical Redesigned Models Perform Well in Consumer Appeal

15 September 1999

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Redesigned Models Critical to Manufacturers Perform Well in Consumer Appeal
Industry Faces Challenges to Launch Vehicles 

    AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Sept. 15 / -- Volkswagen, General Motors and Toyota 
(including its Lexus Division) have the greatest number of new vehicle models 
that consumers consider to be "most appealing," according to the J.D. Power and 
Associates 1999 Automotive Performance, Execution And Layout (APEAL) Study(SM) 
released today.  The study is based on responses from nearly 88,000 new-vehicle 
owners and measures what excites and delights owners (or "things gone right") 
with their new-vehicle's features and design.

    Volkswagen's Jetta, GTI, Passat and Beetle rank highest in their
individual car segments, while the BMW 3 Series and 7 Series capture the entry
luxury and premium luxury segments, respectively.  The Chevrolet Corvette tops
the premium sports car segment.

    Among trucks, Toyota, Lexus and Honda models sweep the popular SUV
segments.  The Honda CR-V captures the mini-SUV segment, while the Toyota
4Runner and Land Cruiser top the compact and full-size SUV segments,
respectively.  The Lexus LX 470 ranks highest among luxury SUVs.

    General Motors' new truck entries, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra,
capture the top two positions in the high-volume, full-size pickup segment.
The GMC Savana ranks highest among full-size vans.

    In addition, the Dodge Dakota continues its dominance in the compact
pickup segment, ranking highest for the third year in a row.  The newly
redesigned Honda Odyssey is the top performer in the compact van segment.

    "Although new and redesigned vehicles tend to stand out from other models,
our trend data shows that this phenomenon is decreasing," said Jacques
daCosta, senior manager of product research at J.D. Power and Associates.
"Successful new model launches will be those that attract consumers with a
balance of innovative styling, new technologies, vehicle performance, and
interior and safety features."

    The 1999 APEAL study comprises eight specific areas of vehicle performance
and design, including more than 100 attributes that uncover what consumers
like and dislike about their new vehicles.  These areas include Vehicle
Styling; Engine and Powertrain; Comfort and Convenience; Ride and Handling;
Seats; Heating, Cooling and Ventilation; Cockpit and Instrument Panel; and
Sound System.

    Headquartered in Agoura Hills, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a
global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors
including market research, forecasting and customer satisfaction.  The firm's
quality and satisfaction measurements are based on actual customer responses
from more than one million consumers annually.

                   Top Three Models in 15 Major Categories

    Most Appealing: VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
    Volkswagen Golf
    Plymouth Neon (2000)

    Entry Midsize
    Most Appealing: VOLKSWAGEN JETTA
    Pontiac Grand Am
    Daewoo Leganza

    Premium Midsize
    Most Appealing: VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT
    Pontiac Grand Prix
    Toyota Avalon

    Sporty Car
    Most Appealing: VOLKSWAGEN GTI
    Honda Prelude
    Pontiac Firebird

    Premium Sports Car
    Most Appealing: CHEVROLET CORVETTE
    Porsche 911
    Porsche Boxster

    Entry Luxury
    Most Appealing: BMW 3 SERIES
    Saab 9-5
    Chrysler 300M

    Premium Luxury
    Most Appealing: BMW 7 SERIES
    Lexus LS 400
    BMW 5 Series

    Compact Pickup
    Most Appealing: DODGE DAKOTA
    Toyota Tacoma
    GMC Sonoma

    Full-size Pickup
    GMC Sierra
    Ford F-250 Super Duty

    Mini SUV
    Most Appealing: HONDA CR-V
    Toyota RAV4
    Subaru Forester

    Compact SUV
    Most Appealing: TOYOTA 4RUNNER
    Dodge Durango
    GMC Envoy

    Full-size SUV
    Most Appealing: TOYOTA LAND CRUISER
    GMC Yukon/Yukon Denali
    Ford Expedition

    Luxury SUV
    Most Appealing: LEXUS LX 470
    Lexus RX 300
    Land Rover Range Rover

    Compact Van
    Most Appealing: HONDA ODYSSEY
    Toyota Sienna
    Pontiac Montana

    Full-size Van
    Most Appealing: GMC SAVANA
    Chevrolet Express
    Ford Econoline

    Source:  J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Automotive Performance, Execution
and Layout -- APEAL Study(SM)

                J.D. Power and Associates 1999 APEAL Study(SM)
                        America's Most Appealing Cars

    Segment and Award Recipient              Highest Rated Features

    Most Appealing Compact Car:              -- Unique styling
    Volkswagen Beetle                        -- Driver's headroom
                                             -- Overall styling

    Most Appealing Entry Mid-Size Car:       -- Illumination of instrument
    Volkswagen Jetta                            controls
                                             -- Driver's visibility
                                             -- Rear styling

    Most Appealing Premium Mid-Size Car:     -- Illumination of instrument
    Volkswagen Passat                           controls
                                             -- Driver's headroom
                                             -- Unique styling

    Most Appealing Sporty Car:               -- Driver's visibility
    Volkswagen GTI                           -- Comfortable driving position
                                             -- Driver's headroom

    Most Appealing Premium Sports Car:       -- Storage Space
    Chevrolet Corvette                       -- Driving Range
                                             -- Driver's Comfort

    Most Appealing Entry Luxury Car:         -- Convenience of cupholders
    BMW 3 Series                             -- Front styling
                                             -- Smooth engine performance

    Most Appealing Premium Luxury Car:       -- Rear passenger space and
    BMW 7 Series                                comfort
                                             -- Driver's visibility
                                             -- Sound system controls

    Source:  J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Automotive Performance, Execution
And Layout (APEAL) Study(SM)


                J.D. Power and Associates 1999 APEAL Study(SM)
                       America's Most Appealing Trucks

    Segment and Award Recipient              Highest Rated Features

    Most Appealing Compact Pickup:           -- Convenience of cupholders
    Dodge Dakota                             -- Storage Space
                                             -- Convenience of controls

    Most Appealing Full-Size Pickup:         -- Rear passenger space and
    Chevrolet Silverado                         comfort
                                             -- Fuel economy and driving range
                                             -- Engine performance

    Most Appealing Mini Sport Utility:       -- Rear passenger space and
    Honda CR-V                                  comfort
                                             -- Convenience of cupholders
                                             -- Useful cargo space

    Most Appealing Compact Sport Utility:    -- Smoothness of transmission
    Toyota 4Runner                              shifts
                                             -- Rear passenger space
                                             -- Smooth, quiet engine

    Most Appealing Full-Size Sport Utility:  -- Smooth, quiet engine
    Toyota Land Cruiser                         performance
                                             -- Ride quietness
                                             -- Handling stability

    Most Appealing Luxury Sport Utility:     -- Smooth engine performance
    Lexus LX 470                             -- 2WD/4WD ride and handling
                                             -- Quietness during highway

    Most Appealing Compact Van:              -- Versatility of 2nd and 3rd row
    Honda Odyssey                               seats
                                             -- Useful cargo space
                                             -- Smooth, powerful engine

    Most Appealing Full-Size Van:            -- Storage space
    GMC Savana                               -- Comfort of 3rd row seats
                                             -- Effectiveness of rear air

    Source:  J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Automotive Performance, Execution
And Layout (APEAL) Study(SM)