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U.S.A.:J.D.Power Owners' survey released

Reuters / October 08, 2003

DETROIT (Reuters) -- Proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, many of the cars and trucks rated the most appealing in an annual owners' survey released on Tuesday have been sales failures.

The Ford Excursion SUV, the Mercury Marauder and the Subaru Baja compact pickup truck all won their categories in J.D. Power and Associates' annual study on appealing cars and trucks. But all have been sales laggards, failing to broaden their appeal from a core group of buyers.

"The Subaru Baja is probably an example of that," said Joe Ivers, a partner and executive director of quality and customer satisfaction with J.D. Powers, told Reuters. "They may not be getting the volume that they intended out of that vehicle, and yet those who buy them are probably very enthusiastic about them."

The APEAL award, an acronym for automotive performance, execution and layout, is based on responses from 102,975 new-vehicle buyers during the first 90 days of ownership. The study measures the likes and dislikes of owners of their vehicle's performance and design, including styling, engine and transmission performance, handling, comfort, sound system and interior.

Two years ago, the Pontiac Aztek won the award for entry-level SUVs, despite a box-on-wheels styling that made it a running joke in Detroit.

"It was a vehicle that won its award despite its styling," Ivers said. "For people who got into the interior of the vehicle and drove, it actually was a very sound and credible vehicle."

The major Japanese and European automakers again topped the eight annual appeal awards, with Porsche taking the top spot, followed by BMW, Volkswagen, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp.

Ford Motor Co., General Motors and DaimlerChrysler all placed below average, as did the smaller Korean and Japanese automakers.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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