Quality studies can be funny things in the auto business. It's not unusual to have one completely contradict another, which can result in an automaker that was panned as a loser in one study claiming to be a leader based on another. That's exactly what Volkswagen and Ford get to do thanks to Strategic Vision's 2011 Total Quality Index.
Back in June, J.D. Power released its annual Initial Quality report, which ranks vehicles and their brands based on how many problems are reported per 100 vehicles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Volkswagen ranked near the bottom as per usual, but Ford was also smacked down from 5th to 23rd place thanks to owner complaints about the automaker's complex SYNC/MyFordTouch technologies and Powershift dual-clutch gearbox issues.
Well J.D. Power, Strategic Vision thinks your definition of "quality" is terrible, and they believe that their Total Quality Index, which they say measures not just individual problems, but also the "total positive experience created for the owner/driver," is the way to go.
On those grounds, Volkswagen was rated the best full-line automaker in Strategic Vision's 2011 Total Quality study, which surveys 37,069 buyers who bought 2011 models late last year. Owners rated Design and Exterior Styling as the most impressive things about their VWs.
Ford, meanwhile, which suffered so harshly at the hands of J.D. Power's problem-counting study, comes up roses here, tying for second place with Honda and Nissan. Strategic Vision does say that Ford owners reported more problems than the industry average, but its designs and brand strength helped it overcome those issues to create an overall positive experience for owners.
Strategic Vision disses J.D. Power, crowns VW and Ford quality leaders originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Jul 2011