Quality Heroes and Zeroes Emerge from Synovate's Survey; Mercedes, Toyota Dominate Vehicle Quality Award Survey

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BYLINE: Minesh Bhagaloo

MERCEDES-BENZ and Toyota have emerged as the stars in this year's Synovate Quality Awards by dominating their segments and categories.

The research surveyed 55 000 South African vehicle buyers in 2009, is the largest of its kind locally, and looks at the quality of sales, service transactions and product quality. Respondents are interviewed three months after purchasing their vehicles to ascertain problems encountered.

The score is calculated as problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), and the 2010 results are based on cars retailed in 2009.

Mercedes-Benz scored 14 PP100 in the Top Hatch category for the A-Class. Merc's E-Class scooped the Top Executive category with 38 PP100, the B-Class topped the MPV/Station Wagon segment with 42 PP100, and the M-Class won the Large Recreational Vehicle category with 35 PP100.

The German brand also took the top prize for Best Local Plant manufacturing Passenger Vehicles, Best Luxury Passenger Car Brand overall, and a discretionary Platinum Award for Exceptional Quality over time.

The Toyota stable saw the Yaris T1 take the Entry Level segment (41 PP100), the Yaris T3 took Small Hatch (45 PP100), the Corolla 140i won Small Sedan (47 PP100), and Corollas with engines larger than the 140i scooped Top Sedan (79 PP100).

The Hilux had a clean sweep of the Petrol and Diesel Single and Double Cabs with 48 PP100 for Petrol Single Cab, 76 PP100 for Diesel Single Cab, 52 PP100 for Petrol Double Cab, and 78 PP100 for Diesel Double Cab.

The Japanese carmaker also got the award for Best Volume Passenger Car Brand overall and Best Local Plant Manufacturing Light Commercial Vehicles.

Other class winners include the Volvo S40 for Medium Passenger Vehicle (25 PP100), the BMW 1 Series Coupe/Cabrio under Sports Coupe (50), the BMW X3 under Small Recreational Vehicle (37), and the ChevCorsa Utility under Three Quarter Ton (50). …