The Santro and Accent, both from Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), have topped their respective categories in the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2001 India Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.
The Santro leads the crowded small car segment for the second successive year, closely followed by the Maruti Zen. Along with the engine/transmission factor, small car buyers consider vehicle styling/exterior to be important and both the Santro and the Zen perform above the segment average on these two factors.
Climbing a notch from its second place rank in the 2000 APEAL study, the Accent topped scores in the entry mid-size segment. It received segment-best scores in six out of eight APEAL factors, including heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC).
The Mitsubishi Lancer was the most appealing premium mid-size car and tops its slot for the third consecutive year. Lancer leads its segment across all eight factors with industry-best scores in four of them. Among multi-utility vehicles (MUVs), the Toyota Qualis continued to lead, powered by its strengths in engine/transmission and seats - two of the more important factors for MUV owners.
The study, now in its fourth year, is based on evaluations from more than 3,250 new vehicle owners of 23 different models representing 12 makes.
Overall performance is assessed for eight vehicle factors: Engine/transmission, cockpit / instrument panel, ride/handling, heating, ventilation and cooling, comfort and convenience, sound system, seats and vehicle styling/exterior.
A key study finding is the link between a models APEAL score and its price. On an average, more expensive models earn higher APEAL rankings. While the trend is generally true, some models offer better value. These models receive higher APEAL score relative to similar-priced competing models. Consequently, these models also enjoy a higher market share within their respective segments.