Honda Tops Four Segments in Latest J.d. Power Survey

by : Kaye Leery

The latest results of the annual J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction survey of U.S. drivers released Thursday last week has four Honda models topping the rankings for their vehicle segments -- more top rankings than captured by any other automaker.

Among the winners for their respective categories were Honda Motor Co.'s newly redesigned CR-V small crossover sport utility vehicle, Ridgeline truck and Odyssey minivan while the subcompact Fit tied with Toyota Motor Corp.'s Yaris for a top spot.

The annual J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction survey is now in its 12th year - measuring, according to the company itself, "owner delight with the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicles." J.D. Power also focuses on the first 90 days of vehicle ownership. The 2007 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study is based on responses gathered by mail between February and May from more than 91,000 people who bought or leased new 2007 model-year vehicles.

On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG each had three models topping the premium segments. Mercedes-Benz was also a winner with its midsize E-Class car and large S-class car, and its GL-Class sharing another top spot with General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac Escalade EXT in a segment that includes large luxury SUVs and crossovers. Meanwhile BMW's 3 Series and 6 Series cars, and X5 midsize crossover SUV also all received top rankings.

GM, Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG each had two vehicles topping the rankings, which were divided into 19 segments.

Porsche AG was once again the highest-ranking nameplate -- its third consecutive year. Toyota's Scion nabbed the category for the most improved nameplate, with BMW close at its heels at No. 2, followed by DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes-Benz, Ford's Jaguar and Toyota's Lexus.

Meanwhile, American Honda Motor Co.'s luck seems to continue on from the goodwill from its owners to its sales, as it reported sales that were up 7.3 percent to 140,935 units.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. also had brisk June sales, posting a 245,739 unit sales -- up more than 6 percent compared to 223,018 a year ago. Toyota's Tundra full-size pickup truck led the pack, posting its best month ever with sales of 21,727.

Honda - maker of quality and Toyota are both benefiting from the fuel-conscious U.S. consumers who are now choosing lighter vehicles and hybrids over most automakers' trucks in June.

Domestic automakers on the other hand, reducing their reliance on sales to rental-car fleets, continued to post declines. But Ford Motor Co. managed to hold off Toyota for second place, with an advantage of less than 2,000 vehicles.