Foreign Automakers Win Most Awards

By: Iver Penn

In this year's survey of how delighted consumers are with their new cars and trucks, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. each took two top segment awards.

In the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study that was released in Thursday, the Ford Edge distinguished itself as the most appealing all-new vehicle on the market. Meanwhile, the Ford Mustang, Cadillac Escalade EXT and GMC Sierra all led their categories in a study that uses a total of 19 categories all-in-all.

For maker, General Motors, the performance represents a huge improvement, since the car maker had no category winners last year. Ford had two winners in 2006 - the Fusion and the Mustang. But this year, its Fusion did not take a top-three spot in the midsize car category.

The big winners in this year's survey were Honda, and German makes Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Among these, Honda captured more segment awards than any other automaker.

As a whole, Detroit's Big Three did not perform well in this year's survey.

More than 50 percent of Detroit-owned brands performed below average, including the entire Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep lineup from Auburn Hills, just like year.

Now in its 12th year, the so-called APEAL study gauges owner delight with the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicles. So practically speaking, the survey measures things that automakers did right with their new cars and trucks. This is in contrast with other surveys that tend to measure things gone wrong, such as quality problems.

Eight brands owned by Detroit-area carmakers scored above average in the APEAL survey. These brands include Ford's Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Volvo and Mazda brands, as well as GM's Cadillac, Saab and Hummer. However, 10 brands owned by U.S. companies scored below average. Aside from Chrysler's brands, others were GM's GMC, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn and Buick; and Ford Motor's Ford and Mercury brands.

About Ford Motor Company

A global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., Ford Motor Company manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and 108 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands are Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Ford Motor Credit Company is one of its automotive-related services.

About General Motors Corporation

The world's largest automaker, General Motors Corp., has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today has almost 284,000 employees around the world. GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. With global headquarters in Detroit, the company in 2006 globally sold 9.1 million GM cars and trucks under Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall brands.

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