AutoPacific Announces 2008 Ideal Vehicle Awards

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Tustin, California, June 30, 2008 An "ideal" is defined as an excellent or perfect example. In the annual Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate their new 2008 model year cars and trucks by how closely they come to their ideal, as measured by 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.

The conclusion to be drawn from AutoPacific's IVA results is that carmakers that best understand their customers create the vehicles that are ideal for their core buyers.

There are twenty-eight segment winners and overall winners for premium brands and mainstream brands.

The top-rated premium brand overall is Porsche, out-scoring Jaguar and Buick for the most ideal premium vehicle brand honors. The top-rated mainstream brand is Ford, out scoring GMC for top mainstream brand results.

The top-rated vehicle (and top-rated car) is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a Premium Luxury Car. The second and third top-rated cars are from Ford Motor Company: the Mercury Sable and the Ford Taurus, both in the Large Car category. The top-rated truck is the Lincoln Navigator, a Premium Luxury SUV, closely followed by the Ford Taurus X, a Large Crossover SUV, and the Ford Expedition EL, a Large SUV.

Ford Motor Company leads the industry with a total of fifteen segment winners (including three for Volvo). General Motors has six segment winners. Ford won no less than five sport utility vehicle categories with Expedition EL, Taurus X, Edge, Escape, and Lincoln Navigator.

Including eight ties, of the twenty-eight Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) categories, American brands have twenty segment winners, European brands have nine, Japanese brands have six and Korean brands have two winners.

The top-rated product segment is Large Crossover SUV confirming that Americans continue to value large, comfortable vehicles suitable for suburban driving and longer distance highway cruising, but without the fuel consumption of heavier, traditional SUVs.

2008 Ideal Premium Brand: Porsche
2008 Ideal Mainstream Brand: Ford
2008 Ideal Product Segment: Large Crossover SUV

Top Rated 2008 Ideal Vehicles:

Passenger Cars:

Premium Luxury Car
Aspirational Luxury Car
Large Luxury Car
Large Car
Luxury Mid-Size Car
Premium Mid-Size Car
Mid-Size Car
Image Compact Car
Compact Car
Economy Car
Premium Sports Car
Sports Car
Sporty Car
Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Cadillac CTS / Volvo C70
Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury Sable
Volvo S40
Buick LaCrosse / Chevrolet Malibu
Ford Fusion
Volvo C30
Volkswagen Rabbit
Nissan Versa
Porsche 911 / Porsche Cayman / Porsche Boxster
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Ford Mustang
Pickups, SUVs and Minivans

Large Light-Duty Pickup
Large Heavy-Duty Pickup
Compact Pickup
Luxury Sport Utility
Large Sport Utility
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility
Mid-Size Sport Utility
Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle
Premium Luxury Crossover SUV
Luxury Crossover SUV
Large Crossover SUV
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Compact Crossover SUV
Minivan
Ford F-150 / Chevrolet Silverado
Ford Super Duty
Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Lincoln Navigator
Ford Expedition EL
Chevrolet TrailBlazer / Toyota 4Runner / GMC Envoy
Kia Sorento / Jeep Liberty
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Audi Q7
Buick Enclave
Ford Taurus X
Ford Edge
Ford Escape
Subaru Forester
Toyota Sienna / Hyundai Entourage

In addition to identifying segment winners, IVA also establishes numerical ideal vehicle ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the United States market. This results from calculating owner input across 15 specific areas related to a vehicle's attributes, including: exterior styling, exterior size, passenger roominess, cargo space, driver's seat comfort, drivers seat visibility, interior technology, interior lighting, power and acceleration, ease of getting in and out, interior storage compartments, ride, handling, safety features and tires and wheels.

AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and product-consulting firm. Every year it publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies for the automotive industry. The firm also conducts extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area.

Additional information can be found on AutoPacific's websites: http://www.autopacific.com and http://blog.vehiclevoice.com. To weigh in with comments concerning these results, you can comment on the VehicleVoice blog site.

CONTACT: George Peterson or Dan Hall @ AutoPacific, 714.838.4234 or 800.576.AUTO

AutoPacific, Inc.
2991 Dow Avenue
Tustin, California 92780-7219

gpeterson@autopacific.com
dhall@autopacific.com

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