You know, there was a time when you couldn’t find the words “Volkswagen” and “value” in the same sentence unless they were separated by the phrase “is lacking in.” Today, however, it’s a different story: The Volkswagen Group (including Audi) has just been named the top-rated automaker in Strategic Vision’s 2012 Total Value Index, a title it has now captured for four consecutive years.
VW was followed by Hyundai (and Kia), Honda (and Acura), and Ford (and Lincoln), in that order, with the Chrysler Group (including Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram and SRT) earning praise as the most improved automaker in the annual study.
This year’s Total Value Index was based on survey responses from more than 77,000 owners of new vehicles purchased between September 2011 and June 2012, and relies on proprietary “ValueCentered psychology and research methods” to provide a holistic measure of which vehicles offer the most value to consumers. This year’s results also provided some new insight into what factors add the most value to today’s cars and truck.
“[I]nnovation is the strongest single predictor of which cars, brands and corporations are seen as the best value, or Total Value in our study,” according to Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision. Of course, as Edwards clarified, the key here is “'True Innovation' … innovation that is rich and impactful, intuitive, motivational, in-depth and is able to trigger description by the user in great specificity.”
Be that as it may, here’s a quick look at Strategic Vision’s Total Value Award winners for 2012: