The IPSOS 2015 Product Quality Awards includes vehicles sold from January to December 2014 by manufacturers and distributors responsible for more than 83% of the country’s annual sales volume. The awards used to be known as the Synovate Awards.
The research is actually more geared to manufacturers for their own internal evaluation and monitoring of problems and improvements.
Lexus ES is the best car in SA, judged by problems per 100 vehicles, with only 10 pp 100.
The research of the customers’ ownership experience follows a syndicated format with various manufacturers and distributors contributing ideas and funding. Any motor company can participate if they supply names for interviewing, agree to the rules of syndication and participate in meetings and decisions regarding the syndicate business in a transparent and open manner.
“Once again we have seen a marked improvement in quality during 2014, despite growing technological complexity in vehicles” commented the Ipsos Automotive Business Unit Director, Patrick Busschau. “Customers in South Africa are becoming increasingly demanding where product quality and general service levels are concerned, but the local motor industry continues to keep raising the bar or at least remains on a very high level.”
The surveys have three components: a competitive customer experience benchmarking measurement of the sales and service satisfaction of customers within franchised dealership networks, and a benchmarking of product quality with rankings based on problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).
Toyota did well in the latest study, especially its light commercial vehicle range.
Toyota received Platinum Awards for Best Overall LCV Brand (PP100 score of 33), Best One Ton Double Cab LCV Brand (PP100 score of 34) and Best Local Plant Manufacturing LCVs (PP100 score of 31) in the latest results. Toyota – together with Kia – is also awarded with Gold as the Best Volume Passenger Car Brand with a PP100 Score of 31) and – along with Mercedes-Benz – was ranked first as the Best Local Plant Manufacturing Passenger Cars, with a PP100 score of 25.
Mercedes-Benz received a Gold Award as the Best Luxury Passenger Car Brand (PP100 score of 26), but after four consecutive Gold Awards, the E-Class was recognised as the Best Top Executive Model (PP100 score of 17) and received a Platinum Award.
The A-Class received a Gold Award as the Most Improved Luxury Passenger Car (PP100 score of 22, compared to 39 in 2014). As mentioned before, it ranked alongside Toyota as the Best Local Plant Manufacturing Passenger Cars with a PP100 score of 25.
The Volkswagen Polo Vivo Hatch was the highest-ranked Entry Vehicle with a PP100 score of 30. With a PP100 score of 25 each, the Kia Rio Hatch, Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris Hatch led the Small Hatch category.
The Top Hatch Gold Award winner was the Toyota Auris (PP100 score of 19), with the Chevrolet Sonic Sedan (24) and Nissan’s Almera (26) pipping their competitors to the post for Gold in the Small Sedan category.
The Lexus ES (10) was the best Medium Sedan, the Audi A3/S3 Sedan (22), Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla (both on 23) were top of the Top Sedan log and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (17) won the Top Executive Vehicle. Mercedes-Benz also scooped the Sports Coupé class with the C-Class Coupé (13).
The Toyota Avanza (24) was the best MPV, with the Volkswagen Tiguan (13) rated as the best Small Recreational Vehicle and the Audi Q7 (13) as the best Large Recreational Vehicle.
Nissan and Toyota were the clear leaders in the LCV categories. The Nissan NP200 (45) received a Gold Award as the best Three-quarter Ton Vehicle, the Nissan Hardbody Petrol Double Cab (24) was the best Petrol Double Cab and the Nissan Navara Diesel Double Cab (24) the best Diesel Double Cab. Toyota’s Hilux Single Cab was the best Petrol Single Cab (26) and best Diesel Single Cab (31).
The Nissan NP200 (45) and Chevrolet Utility shared Gold in the Three-quarter Ton category, while the Ford Ranger Diesel Single Cab’s PP100 score of 33 was enough to earn it gold in the Diesel Single Cab category.