AutoPacific: What the IVAs Say
Volvo drives forward (Image: Volvo)
One of the things that is true is that when people like something they generally don’t say much about it because they are satisfied. But when they don’t like something—well, that’s entirely a different story. Which makes the AutoPacific Ideal Quality Awards (IVA) something entirely different when it comes to automotive awards, which generally are about upside.
It’s not that the IVAs are about things that are bad. But they are about “owner expectations and reality.”
Or as AutoPacific president George Peterson puts it, ““Giving owners a chance to tell us what they would change and how they would change it reveals which vehicles are best designed to meet their needs and expectations.”
Better design means fewer things to be changed.
One thing that is fairly surprising is that info/entertainment technology, interior quietness, power and acceleration, safety features and interior storage are Achilles heels—and have been. Peterson: “Overall, the percentage of consumers who want better performance in these areas is about the same today as it was three years ago, and these represent major opportunities for automakers to improve.”
Think about that. Infotainment, noise, safety, storage. OEMs are seemingly all in on their bringing in all manner of digital information and entertainment capabilities. How often do OEMs run ads pointing out their interiors are like “sanctuaries”? Or showing how their sensor systems result in not running something over? And whether it is a CUV or an SUV, the central word is “utility,” and how isn’t storage not utile?
And little difference over three years?
Seems like designers, engineers and product developers have a clear set of things that are eminently addressable.
Another truism is that what gets measured gets addressed, and there is nothing that gets more measurement than truck and SUV sales. Consequently, it turns out that these vehicle outperform cars “in most IVA attributes.”
As cars decline in sales, it might seem that it would be a good thing to over-index on features in order to bolster sales. But maybe some OEMs are simply satisfied to just be good enough, at most.
So, for those who meet the needs and expectations well:
2019 Ideal Vehicle Award Summary
2019 Overall Winner: Volvo XC60
2019 Most Ideal Brand Overall and Most Ideal Popular Brand: Ram
2019 Most Ideal Premium Brand: Volvo
Luxury Car: Lincoln Continental
Luxury EV Car: Tesla Model 3
Aspirational Luxury Car: Genesis G70
Large Car: Chrysler 300
Luxury Mid-Size Car: Nissan Maxima
Mid-Size Car: Nissan Altima
Premium Compact Car: BMW 2-Series
Compact Car: Honda Insight
Economy Car: Honda Fit
Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette
Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger
Popular EV Car: Honda Clarity
Full Size Pickup: Ram 1500
Mid-Size Pickup: Honda Ridgeline
Luxury SUV: Infiniti QX80
Large SUV: Nissan Armada
Mid-Size SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Executive Luxury Crossover SUV: Lincoln Nautilus
Aspirational Luxury Crossover SUV: Volvo XC60
Premium Compact Crossover SUV: Volvo XC40
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Subaru Ascent
Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Subaru Forester
Compact Crossover SUV: Hyundai Kona
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Luxury EV Crossover SUV: Tesla Model X
Hyundai enters the American market with a new parallel hybrid system that uses lithium-polymer batteries and the same six-speed automatic found in non-hybrid versions of the 2011 Sonata.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)