VW, Toyota And Volt Score Well In Total Quality Index

Strategic Vision announced today the results of its 2012 Total Quality Index (TQI) study.

With the industry best of only 17 percent of owners reporting problems, Toyota Motor Sales corporation had the lowest reported problems, resulting in Strategic Vision’s lowest “Problem Impact Measure” (PIM) score of 4.29, a Strategic Vision metric that examines the report of the problem, the nature (serious, moderate or minor) of the problem, and the nature of the problem unresolved by the dealer.

Although this is good for Toyota, PIM is only a subset of “Total Quality.” With near universal acceptance that manufacturers are running the tightest “quality race” ever, customers are increasingly defining “quality” holistically and using Total Quality in their decisions.

Total Quality measures how closely the experience of quality matches the explicit desires of the customer. According to Strategic Vision’s latest study, in terms of Total Quality, Volkswagen Group of America is the leader, followed by Ford Motor Company and then Chrysler Group.

Volkswagen Group of America’s Total Quality strength centers on the segment leaders like Golf, Eos and Tiguan, as well as Audi segment leaders A4 and A8.

Ford Motor Company was able to finish second with many strong segment rankings, and leadership from Flex, F-150 and F-250/350. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the most improved (third place) corporation—Chrysler Group.

“Full-line corporations like Toyota and American Honda Motor are as strong as ever in terms of percentages of people reporting problems. It’s just that others are doing such a great job also, and they have excelled in providing the kind of innovation that influences perceptions of quality,” says Strategic Vision Vice President Christopher Chaney. “Look at the Chevrolet Volt,” Chaney continues. “It may not be a sales leader, but those who purchased it were heavily influenced by a number of quality cues that made it a segment leader in Total Quality.”

General Motors managed to snag the lead in the medium car segment with its Chevrolet Volt.

The real message is that innovation is connected to perceptions of quality. If innovation is strong, especially such that customers can say they “love it,” when referring to the product, then perceptions of quality will be greatly (positively) influenced.

Strategic Vision research has proven that those who recognize and acknowledge innovation (most new car buyers) will purchase, and not just be driven by counting problems. With all manufacturers being in such close traditional quality proximity (counting problems only), there is little question that those auto manufacturers who offer rich and impactful, intuitive, motivationally designed cars will have the advantage going into the future.

Strategic Vision has presented Total Quality Awards annually since 1995. Based on Strategic Vision’s quantitative “ValueCentered®” NVES study, the Total Quality Index was calculated from 45,390 buyers who purchased 2012 models during September to December 2011. The following list contains the number one ranked vehicles in Total Quality in their segments as rated by new vehicle buyers. Note the Volt is listed as a mid-size, when in fact it is a compact.


  • MrEnergyCzar

    The Volt is the best car I’ve ever owned….spent $105 in total fuel costs the first 12,000 miles so far….

    MrEnergyCzar

  • ACAgal

    I disagree with the following, because quality is measured by no problems, correctly fitting parts, good use of materials, no outgassing of noxious materials, all mechanisms operating efficiently, smoothly, quietly, bumps subdued, turning radius is tight, the seat supports passengers ergonomically, great visibility and the car consistently preforms as expected. The Volt handles well, powers up immediately is comfortable, and I haven’t had any problems to date. Like the Energy Czar, no need to pump gas yet.

    To someone like me, who does not use an iPhone, or an Android, the innovations of co-ordinating the phone and the car were the most disruptive, of the learning experiences, which is why I disagree with the following, while admitting the innovations are fun!: “The real message is that innovation is connected to perceptions of quality. If innovation is strong, especially such that customers can say they “love it,” when referring to the product, then perceptions of quality will be greatly (positively) influenced.