Innovation drives car buyers to choose most-valued vehicles

Hyundai, Volkswagen-Audi, BMW and Chevrolet may seem about as different as night and day – and day and night – but when American car buyers attach value to those manufacturers’ vehicles, all four can make a compelling case for the most-valued-vehicle  title.

Innovation is the strongest single predictor of which cars, brands and corporations are seen as the best value, or Total Value in our study,” says Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision.

The model with the highest Total Value Index score from 77,153 new car buyers for 2012 is the Hyundai Equus, which leads the Luxury Car category in Strategic Vision’s annual ratings, with a score of 839. Close behind are the Premium Convertible/Roadster BMW Z4 (836) Roadster, Premium Convertible Roadster Category; Chevrolet Volt (835), Special Category, and Mini Cooper Coupe (832), Specialty Coupe.

The Volt, which comes in for high praise, indeed, is “representative of ‘nearly perfect innovation,’” according to a report by Jonathon Ramsey in autoblog,

Volkswagen-Audi holds the top spot overall for the 2012 model year, with seven vehicles ranking as category winners, followed by Hyundai-Kia with five winners. Ford scored three segment leaders, while BMW, Chevrolet and Honda each led two categories.

The VW-Audi models ranking high on TVI are Audi Q7 (825), Volkswagen CC (805), Audi A3 (789), Audi Q5 (780), Volkswagen Eos (778), Volkswagen Golf (775), and Volkswagen Jetta Wagon (759). Hyundai-Kia winners are Elantra (806), Sonata (824), Equus and Kia Sportage and Sorento (both 776). The top Fords are mid-size crossover utility, Ford Flex (765), Ford F-150 pickup (738) and Ford F-250/350 (728).

“Corporations like Honda still do well, but must be careful when the driving force for their score is mostly Resale Value and MPG factors. Both of these factors are important, but are increasingly becoming ‘up-for-grabs’ to the accelerated competition,” says Darrel Edwards, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Strategic Vision. “Quality is at the base of Value, but in looking for that key influencing factor that most heavily predicts future success, True Innovation will be the common denominator of the winners.”

True innovation which drives the strongest results is “rich and impactful, intuitive, motivational, in-depth and able to trigger description by the user in great specificity,” says Strategic Vision.