Ford has produced some mixed results in recent J.D. Power studies, ranking above the mass market segment average in the 2022 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study, while also finishing below average in the organization’s 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study. However, The Blue Oval continued its solid performance in the former study, once again ranking above the mass market segment average in the just-release J.D. power 2023 APEAL Study.
Last year, Ford scored an 845 out of a possible 1,000 points in the APEAL Study, ranking eighth among all mass market manufacturers. This time around, FoMoCo slipped a bit to tenth place with a score of 838, which ranked it behind Dodge (887), Ram (873), GMC (858), Mini (856), Kia (851), Chevy (846), Hyundai (844), Nissan (843), and Buick (841), but ahead of the segment average (837), Honda (835), Jeep (831), Mitsubishi (831), Mazda (828), Volkswagen (827), Subaru (824), Toyota (824), and Chrysler (810).
Ford wasn’t along in suffering a slip in performance, however, as for the first time in the 28-year history of the APEAL Study, the overall market suffered a consecutive year-over-year decline in owner satisfaction, dropping by two points last year and three in 2021. This particular study measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement with their new vehicle by asking them to consider 37 different attributes. This year’s results were derived from the responses of 84,555 owners of new 2023 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
“The decline in consecutive years might look small, but it’s an indicator that larger issues may lie under the surface,” said Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power. “Despite the technology and design innovations that manufacturers put into new vehicles, owners are lukewarm about them. While innovations like charging pads, vehicle apps, and advanced audio features should enhance an owner’s experience, this is not the case when problems are experienced. This downward trajectory of satisfaction should be a warning sign to manufacturers that they need to better understand what owners really want in their new vehicles.”