Fall 2011 ALG Perceived Quality Study Highlights Consumer Perception of Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Lexus Leads All Manufacturers; Tesla Tops Alternative-Only Brands

Oct 31, 2011, 09:00 ET from ALG

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lexus captured the highest Perceived Quality rating for alternative fuel vehicles with an overall PQS of 89.8 (out of 100), according to the Fall 2011 Perceived Quality Study (PQS) from ALG, a subsidiary of TrueCar, Inc. and the industry benchmark for residual values and depreciation data. Mercedes (88.8), Porsche (86.7), BMW (86.7) and Honda (85.6) rounded out the top five, respectively. Tesla (PQS 69.5) was the top brand for purely alternative manufacturers, but when stacked up against brands that sell both alternative fuel and gas-powered vehicles, the brand landed in the middle of the pack.

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"That Lexus made a strong entrance into the survey and took the crown after not being a part of the 2010 survey for alternative fuel vehicles, is a testament to the brand's overall reputation.  Given that perceptions often hold across the full spectrum of models a manufacturer produces, it's not surprising that Lexus, which holds the top spot in the overall market survey, would also nab the top spot here," states Eric Lyman, director, Residual Value Solutions, ALG. "Tesla's relatively low ranking against brands that also produce gasoline-powered vehicles, along with low rankings for primarily alternative fuel brands overall, is likely due to the fact that these manufacturers are less well known and have not yet established a solid reputation with the public."

For its PQS, ALG surveys approximately 3,000-4,000 U.S. consumers twice a year to gauge perceptions of a number of luxury and mainstream brands.  This is the second year the company has surveyed the public about alternative fuel vehicles.  Lyman continues, "Buyer perception of a brand can dramatically affect a brand's entire lineup, either positively or negatively.  Our PQS is powerful intelligence for the retail automotive industry, especially in the new hyper competitive landscape of alternative fuel vehicles."

Additional highlights from the survey include: in the alternative-only brands Fisker took the second spot with a PQS of 49.5, followed by Phoenix (44.8), Aptera (40.0) and Zenn (39.6).  Among brands that sell both alternative fuel and gasoline-powered vehicles, Jeep saw the largest upward movement (PQS 55.9) after ranking last in the 2010 survey.

The complete list with scores and details is available at: https://www.alg.com/pdf/pqs_2011_fall_alt_report_final.pdf.

About ALG

Based in Santa Barbara, California, ALG is a leading provider of data and consulting services to the automotive industry.  ALG publishes the "Automotive Lease Guide" – the standard for residual value projections in North America, and has been forecasting automotive residual values for over 45 years in both the U.S. and Canadian markets.

About TrueCar, Inc.

TrueCar, Inc. is an innovative automotive marketplace that benefits both buyers and sellers by providing a significantly better customer experience while helping qualified dealer partners to gain incremental market share and reduce costs. As a transparent, visual publisher of new car transaction data, TrueCar.com price reports help both dealers and consumers to agree on the parameters of a fair deal by providing an accurate, comprehensive and simple understanding of what others actually paid for the identically equipped new car over the last 30 days both locally and nationally.

TrueCar, Inc. works with a national network of over 5,000 Certified Dealers that provide up-front, no-haggle, competitive pricing to assist some of the nation's largest and most well respected membership and service organizations to meet the auto buying needs of their members and customers. These partnerships include American Express, AAA, USAA and more than 60 others. Collectively these audiences represent over 1M in-market customers each month.

TrueCar, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA and has offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas.