The folks at Dodge need to know what their customers like.
The Stellantis brand that makes a living from heavy horsepower Hemis led all brands in the mass market and ranked overall with Porsche in the JD Power 2021 US Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study to be released Wednesday. The annual APEAL study is essentially a measure of brand appeal, ranking brands on a 1000-point scale.
This was the second year that Dodge topped the mass-market category with a score of 882. Dodge’s brother, Ram, took the No. 2 mass-market place, followed by Nissan, GMC, and Ford. Among the premium brands, Genesis, Land Rover, Lincoln and BMW Porsche followed.
General Motors had the most awards at the vehicle segment level with five. The other Detroit Three members, Stellantis and Ford, won one and two vehicle segments, respectively. The Nissan Maxima was the overall top model.
While it took first place in the mass market with Dodge, Stellantis, which this year formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group, also held the lowest position with its Chrysler brand, indicating the work that Christine Feuell, a former Honeywell and Ford executive, has her in mind when she takes over as the newly appointed CEO of the Chrysler brand.
The other mass-market brands at the bottom were Mitsubishi, Buick, Jeep and Volkswagen. The five lowest scoring premium brands were Infiniti, Acura, Audi, Jaguar and Alfa Romeo. Both Jeep and Alfa Romeo are brands of Stellantis.
The JD Power study is based on responses from 110,827 new-vehicle 2021 model year owners surveyed after 90 days of ownership, according to a press release.
According to the publication, the survey asked owners to consider characteristics “ranging from the feeling of comfort they feel when they climb into the driver’s seat to the excitement they get when they step on the accelerator pedal.”
A fresh look can make a big difference.
New or redesigned models, such as the BMW 4 Series, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Bronco Sport, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Genesis G80, Kia K5 and Toyota Sienna, “achieved top-line performance in the segment,” the release said.
“One of the biggest factors improving the industry this year has been the introduction of some very compelling new models,” said David Amodeo, director of global auto industry at JD Power, in the release. “The APEAL study measures owners’ emotional attachment to their new vehicle, and the product launches that happened this model year have done a really good job. Some are brand new and some are redesigns, but the new launches show that automakers are getting better and better. in hitting the emotional triggers of buyers.”
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A notable absentee from the official ranking is Tesla. The automaker has not been officially ranked because, unlike others, it does not allow JD Power to investigate the electric vehicle company’s customers in states that require it. However, JD Power gave a score based on a survey of Tesla customers in other states who would have given it the top spot of 893.
According to JD Power, these are the automakers and models that topped the various segments in their survey this year, ranging from small cars to large heavy-duty pickups:
- General Motors — Cadillac CT5, Chevrolet Blazer, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Sierra HD
- BMW — BMW 4 Series, BMW X4, BMW X6 and BMW X7
- Hyundai Motor Group — Genesis G80, Kia K5 and Kia Telluride
- Nissan — Nissan Maxima, Nissan Sentra and Nissan Versa
- Ford — Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Mustang Mach-E
- Daimler — Mercedes-Benz CLA
- Honda — Honda Ridgeline
- Jaguar Land Rover Limited — Land Rover Defender
- Stellantis — Aries 1500
- Toyota — Toyota Sienna
- Volvo — Volvo XC40
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