US Auto Makers Score Most Wins In Meeting Consumer Expectations

TUSTIN, Calif. (June 29, 2009) - Porsche and Ford Motor Company earned top honors in the 2009 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research firm AutoPacific. The IVAs are based on owners' ratings of their new 2009 model year cars and trucks across 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.

"In today's economy, car buyers take many factors into consideration - styling, safety features, fuel economy and more," says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. "IVA winners deliver the most of what consumers are really looking for in their vehicles."

"While some measurements barely differentiate between the highest and lowest-ranked vehicles, the Ideal Vehicle Awards clearly show which carmakers are providing the attributes car buyers want," says Peterson. "Looking at segment wins and top overall honors, shoppers can use the IVAs as a benchmark for vehicles that are designed and built with customers just like them in mind. In fact, AutoPacific owner research also shows that IVA-winning vehicles achieve higher overall satisfaction from their owners."

For 2009, the top-rated premium brand is Porsche, outscoring Buick and Jaguar for the most ideal premium vehicle brand honors. The top-rated mainstream brand is Ford, outscoring Mercury for top mainstream brand results. Porsche and Ford were also the highest scoring premium and mainstream brands in the 2008 IVA rankings.

The top-rated vehicle overall is the Honda Odyssey minivan, which beat out the next-highest rated vehicle, the Toyota Venza, from the premium mid-size crossover SUV segment. Rounding out the top five were three Ford Motor Company products: the Ford F-150 large pickup, followed by the Ford Taurus and the Lincoln Town Car, both in the large car segment.

Ford Motor Company leads the industry with a total of five segment winners. Hyundai/Kia and Toyota/Lexus each had three segment winners, with Chrysler, General Motors and Honda bringing in two wins each.
Of the twenty-three Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) categories, American brands have nine segment winners, Japanese brands seven, European brands four, and Korean brands have three segment winners.

The top-rated product segment is Large Car, beating out last year's leading category, Large Crossover SUV. American buyers continue to value large, comfortable vehicles suitable for suburban driving and longer distance highway cruising.

2009 Ideal Premium Brand: Porsche
2009 Ideal Mainstream Brand: Ford
2009 Ideal Product Segment: Large Car

2009 Ideal Vehicle Award Winners:

Passenger Cars:
Premium Luxury Car
Aspirational Luxury Car
Large Car
Luxury Mid-Size Car
Premium Mid-Size Car
Mid-Size Car
Image Compact Car
Compact Car
Economy Car
Sports Car
Sporty Car   
Lexus LS
Hyundai Genesis
Ford Taurus
Lexus ES350
Saturn Aura
Volkswagen Jetta
MINI Cooper
Hyundai Elantra
Honda Fit
Porsche 911
Dodge Challenger
Pickups, SUVs and Minivans
Large Pickup
Compact Pickup
Luxury Sport Utility
Large Sport Utility
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility
Mid-Size Sport Utility
Luxury Crossover SUV
Large Crossover SUV
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Compact Crossover SUV
Minivan

Ford F-150
Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Lincoln Navigator
Nissan Armada
Ford Explorer
Jeep Liberty
BMW X5
Chevrolet Traverse
Toyota Venza
Subaru Forester
Kia Sportage
Honda Odyssey 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. These results come 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, driver's 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.

In 2009, AutoPacific has named its Vehicle Satisfaction Award winners, plus announced "Owner Recommendations," based on a survey of more than 25,000 new car owners. With today's announcement of the Ideal Vehicle Awards, only two vehicles have been top-ranked in their segment for all three honors: The Lexus LS in the Premium Luxury Car segment and the Honda Fit in the Economy Car segment. Will they hit an AutoPacific grand slam next month when the AutoPacific/Intellichoice.com Motorist Choice Awards are announced? We will let you know in July!

About AutoPacific
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm, founded in 1986, 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://news.vehiclevoice.com.

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Contacts:
Dan Hall, AutoPacific, (714) 838-4234, dan.hall@autopacific.com
Dan Smith, PCGCampbell, (310) 224-4954, dsmith@pcgcampbell.com

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