The Ipsos Quality Awards 2012 have revealed outstanding results with the lowest scores in the history of the survey. The Ipsos Quality Awards were previously known as the Synovate Quality Awards and have been awarded to the industry for the past eight years. They are the benchmark in measuring the customer perspective on the experiences and vehicle quality in the South African automotive industry.
Quality problems plummet in South Africa’s cars
This year, the overall score for the passenger vehicle market is 41 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). “The problems per 100 vehicles index (PP100) in South Africa has shown a sharp decrease, with an overall improvement in quality of 52% in the last four years,” states Patrick Busschau, Ipsos Automotive Business Unit Director.
The study is the largest survey of its kind in South Africa and forms part of Ipsos’ Competitive Customer Experience – a study into vehicle product quality as well as sales and service experience. The study collectively talks to 22 000 South African vehicle owners annually. Respondents for PP100 are interviewed three months after purchasing their vehicles to ascertain which, if any, problems have been experienced in the first three months of ownership. The score is calculated as problems per 100 vehicles, which is a globally recognised approach.
Mercedes-Benz and Toyota have produced the lowest model scores across the segments. The best (lowest) score across all the segments belongs to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (10 PP100), followed by the Mercedes-Benz M-Class (12 PP100), then the Toyota Auris X and Toyota Yaris 1.3, with scores of 13 PP100 each in their relevant segments.
“Once again, both Mercedes-Benz and Toyota have displayed excellent results and certainly deserve the recognition,” comments Busschau. “It’s also great to see some different names in the rankings, such as Jeep. All the manufacturers are working hard to differentiate themselves and delight their customers and this is evidenced by the close competition and improved overall scores.”
The Ipsos Quality Awards recognise the top three performers by model segments and by brand categories. The table below shows overall scores for each segment. Top-performing segments include Petrol Single Cab, Petrol Double Cab and Top Executive.
Starting with the Passenger Vehicles, the top performer in the Entry segment goes to the Toyota Yaris 1.0 (24 PP100). The Chevrolet Spark 1.2 and the Chevrolet Spark Lite are tied in second place with scores of 31 PP100 each. Third place is shared between the Ford Figo (36 PP100), Volkswagen Vivo Hatch (36 PP100), Nissan Micra (37 PP100) and Volkswagen Vivo Sedan (40 PP100).
Toyota Auris X and Toyota Yaris 1.3 tie for first place in the Small Hatch segment – each with scores of 13 PP100. The Mazda 2 (26 PP100) follows in second position, and the Opel Corsa, Peugeot 207 and Volkswagen Crosspolo come in tied at third, with scores of 36 PP100, 37 PP100 and 39 PP100, respectively.
Top Hatch produces fewer awards – Mercedes-Benz A-Class (21 PP100) yields the best score. Audi A3 Sportback (25 PP100) takes the Silver award, followed by the Renault Megane (33 PP100).
Small Sedan yields higher scores on average at 40 PP100. Frontrunner in this segment is the Toyota Corolla 1.3 (32 PP100), followed by the Chevrolet Aveo Sedan (37 PP100).
Audi A4 (26 PP100) wins the Gold in the Medium Sedan segment, followed very closely by the Lexus IS (28 PP100) tied with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Petrol (28 PP100) in second spot. Third place is occupied by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Diesel (36 PP100).
Toyota Corolla 1.6 and 2.0 dominate the Top Sedan segment with an impressive score of 19 PP100. The Mazda 3 and Chevrolet Cruze take second place with scores of 36 PP100 and 39 PP100, respectively. Volkswagen Jetta 6 (46 PP100) is in third place.
Top Executive has only one Gold award – the Mercedes-Benz E-Class with an incredibly low score of 13 PP100.
The Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz SLK tie for first place in the Sports Coupe segment with 28 PP100 and 29 PP100, respectively. The Volkswagen Scirocco (56 PP100) comes in second.
The Small Recreational Vehicle segment is led by the Nissan X-trail with a low score of 13 PP100. The Toyota RAV4 and the Volkswagen Tiguan are tied in third place with scores of 21 PP100 and 23 PP100, respectively. Third place is also a tie between the Audi Q5 (37 PP100) and the Jeep Patriot (39 PP100).
The Large Recreational Vehicle segment (42 PP100) yields a lower overall score than the Small Recreational Vehicle segment (49 PP100). Frontrunner in this segment is the Mercedes-Benz M-Class (12 PP100), bringing down the overall average for this segment. The Toyota Prado (28 PP100) is in second spot and the Jeep Grand Cherokee (43 PP100) in third spot.
Top performer in the Multi-purpose vehicle segment is the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (10 PP100). Following it in second place is the Mazda 5 (24 PP100). The Toyota Corolla Verso and the Dodge Journey are tied in third place with 32 PP100 and 34 PP100, respectively.
Light Commercial Vehicles
“Light Commercial Vehicles as a group have performed exceptionally well this year, with two of its segments scoring below 30 PP100,” comments Busschau, “Each year we see the gap between PC scores and LCV scores narrowing.”
Isuzu KB dominates both the Petrol Single Cab and Diesel Single Cab segments and it wins Gold in both – 21 PP100 for its petrol model and 38 PP100 for its diesel model.
Likewise, Toyota Hilux tops both the Diesel Double Cab and Petrol Double Cab segments with scores of 46 PP100 and 23 PP100, respectively.
Lastly, in the segment of Three-quarter ton, the Nissan NP200 (34 PP100) features at the top. The Chevrolet Utility (73 PP100) and Ford Bantam (102 PP100) are placed in second and third place, respectively.
Brand Category awards are dominated by Toyota, which wins Best Volume Passenger Car Brand (tied with Mazda), Best One Ton Double Cab LCV Brand Overall, Best Local Plant Manufacturing Passenger Vehicles and Best Overall Light Commercial Brand. Best Premium Passenger Car Brand goes to Mercedes-Benz. Nissan and Toyota share first position in the category of best Local Plant Manufacturing Light Commercial Vehicles, and Isuzu takes Gold in the category of Best One Ton Single Cab Light Commercial Brand.
More about the survey:
These rankings are based on Ipsos’ Competitive Customer Experience (CCE), which has been conducted in South Africa for the past 20 years. The survey was conducted over a 12-month period between January and December 2011 and is part of a study that measures the perceptions of more than 22 000 passenger and light commercial vehicles.
Not all the brands are included in the survey for various reasons. This could be because the manufacturer chooses not to participate or because the sample that has been achieved is too small. Another reason some manufacturers do not get published is due to the length of participation in the study – a full year of participation is required before a brand can be included in the rankings.
Ipsos interviews about 83% of the PC market and 98% of the LCV market.