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Ford Leads industry in AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Awards!


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AutoPacific Announces 2007 Ideal Vehicle Awards


Lincoln Top Premium Brand, Mercury Top Mainstream Brand,


Mercedes-Benz S-Class Top Vehicle, Nissan Titan Top Truck




TUSTIN, Calif., Sept. 5 -- An "ideal" is defined as an excellent or perfect example. In the annual Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate their new 2007 model year cars and trucks by how closely they come to their ideal. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.




The conclusion to be drawn from AutoPacific's IVA results is that carmakers that best understand their customers create the vehicles that are ideal for their core buyers. There are twenty-five segment winners and overall winners for premium brands and mainstream brands.




The top-rated premium brand overall is Lincoln, out-scoring Buick and Porsche for the most ideal premium vehicle brand honors. The top-rated mainstream brand is Mercury nudging out Hyundai for top mainstream brand results.




The top-rated vehicle (and top-rated car) is the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a Premium Luxury Car. The second and third top-rated cars are from Ford Motor Company -- the Mercury Montego and the Ford Five Hundred, both in the Large Car category. The top-rated truck is the Nissan Titan, a Large Light-Duty Pickup, closely followed by the new Ford Edge, a Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV.




Ford Motor Company led the industry with a total of nine segment winners. General Motors and Hyundai have four each. Ford won five sport utility vehicle categories with Expedition, Explorer, Edge, Lincoln MKX and Range Rover.




Including two ties, of the twenty-five Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) categories, American brands have twelve segment winners, European brands have six, Japanese brands have five and Korean brands have four winners.




The top-rated product segment is Large Car confirming that Americans


continue to value large, comfortable cars suitable for suburban driving and


longer distance highway cruising.




2007 Ideal Premium Brand: Lincoln


2007 Ideal Mainstream Brand: Mercury


2007 Ideal Product Segment: Large Car




Top rated 2007 Ideal Vehicles:




Passenger Cars:




Premium Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz S-Class


Aspirational Luxury Car Infiniti G35


Large Luxury Car Mercury Grand Marquis


Large Car Mercury Montego


Luxury Mid-Size Car Lincoln MKZ


Premium Mid-Size Car Hyundai Sonata


Mid-Size Car Saturn Aura


Image Compact Car Audi A3


Compact Car Hyundai Elantra


Economy Car Toyota Yaris


Premium Sports Car Porsche Cayman


Sports Car Porsche Boxster


Sporty Car Ford Mustang/Volkswagen Eos (tie)






Pickups, SUVs, and Minivans:




Large Light-Duty Pickup Nissan Titan


Large Heavy-Duty Pickup GMC Sierra 2500


Compact Pickup GMC Canyon


Minivan Hyundai Entourage


Luxury Sport Utility Range Rover


Large Sport Utility Ford Expedition/Chevrolet Suburban (tie)


Mid-Size Sport Utility Ford Explorer


Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle Suzuki Grand Vitara


Luxury Crossover SUV Lincoln MKX


Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV Ford Edge


Mid-Size Crossover SUV Honda CR-V


Compact Crossover SUV Hyundai Tucson




In addition to identifying segment winners, IVA also establishes numerical ideal vehicle ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the United States market. This results from calculating owner input across 15 specific areas related to a vehicle's exterior size, passenger roominess, cargo space, driver's seat comfort, drivers seat visibility, interior technology, power and acceleration, ease of getting in


and out, interior storage compartments and tires and wheels.




AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and product-consulting firm. Every year it publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies for the automotive industry. The firm also conducts extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin,


California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area.




Additional information can be found on AutoPacific's websites:


http://www.autopacific.com and http://blog.vehiclevoice.com. To weigh in


with comments concerning these results, you can comment on the VehicleVoice


blog site.

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I don't put much stock in any of these owner satisfaction studies because people who really don't like something about a car generally don't buy it.


You can sell fewer and fewer cars every year but still score at the top of such a study if the people who do buy the car really like it. If anything, cars that the general public either doesn't think much of or doesn't know about tend to do better in such studies.

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