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Autopacific Announces 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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AutoPacVSAlogo10.jpgNational Survey Reveals Cadillac as Top Premium Brand, Buick as Top Popular Brand, Ford Motor Company Has Most Awards with Seven, Suzuki Kizashi as Top Car and Lincoln MKT as Top Truck
TUSTIN, Calif. (May 20, 2010) — AutoPacific today announced its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) to help consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions.
“While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We’ve found that more than 25% of new car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck.”
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.
“Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says Peterson. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.”


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First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Delivers

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Sexy and Strong. And a Hyundai.
Hyundai has is developing its sense of style, seen in Genesis and followed up with the 2011 Sonata. This Sonata offers style inside and out, interior space and functionality, and entertaining driving dynamics. Easy on the pocketbook and easy on the eyes should be a killer combination.
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Hyundai calls this design philosophy fluidic sculpture. Aside from sounding a bit like a physics experiment, the result is an expressive sedan in a sea of sameness. Though the grille could be called over-complicated, the sculpture in bodysides and hood is refreshing, one of the youngest of automakers. The chrome strip that runs below the window line, over the front quarter panels, and all the way down to heavily detailed headlights is a particularly attractive–and difficult to manufacture–element. This Sonata looks more expensive than it is. Even better, this exterior is matched with an equally good-looking, feature-laden interior.
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The Sonata will offer four-cylinder power only, a brave choice. The 2.4L example we drove will be followed up by a turbo 2.0L and a hybrid by the end of the year. Details will be revealed at the 2010 New York auto show, but Hyundai has promised “substantially” more than 250HP from the turbo 2.0L.


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Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia

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It’s not everyday you have the chance to visit a brand spanking new automotive assembly plant, but the new Kia plant in western Georgia (USA, not Eastern Europe) makes Kia latest “transplant” to build new vehicles in the States. Kia began producing the all-new 2011 Kia Sorento in small volumes in fall 2009, right on schedule. Full production begins in mid-November.
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Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) is a 300,000 unit capacity assembly plant situated along Interstate 85 in western Georgia adjacent to the Alabama border. Its location is about 85-miles east up the 85 from the Hyundai assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Surrounding and between the plants are suppliers providing components not only to the Kia and Hyundai plants in the area but some also produce components for Honda, Mercedes, and Nissan plants in Alabama and Mississippi.


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2009 Hyundai Tucson: Motorist Choice Award Winner

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Hyu_06_Tucson_2 copy.jpg“Hyundai’s Tucson wins a Motorist Choice Award as a top Compact Crossover SUV. Hyundai has done well lately, in vehicle awards and, even more important, in vehicle sales. The award-winning Tucson gains points for product content in a very competitive segment and for financial responsibility in a tough financial environment.” – AutoPacific
“The Tucson has low insurance and repair costs and was ranked first in the AutoPacific survey.” – IntelliChoice
Owner Satisfaction Highlights
• Ease of Ingress/Egress
• Reliable/Dependable
• Driver’s Seat Forward Visibility
• Feeling Safe While Driving
• Safety Features
Cost-of-Ownership Strengths
• Low Insurance Costs
• Low Repair costs


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Motorist Choice Awards Reveal Vehicles That Please Both Hearts And Minds

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vv_intellichoice_autopacific_mca.jpgAwards Show Consumers Enjoy Luxury and Size
(August 11, 2009) — Right brain, left brain; the practical versus the emotional — an age-old dilemma often at the center of decision making when buying a new car or truck. The 2009 Motorist Choice Awards recognize new cars and trucks that give their owners both economic and emotional satisfaction, helping new-car buyers find vehicles that best satisfy all of their personal-transportation needs. The fourth annual Motorist Choice Awards survey, announced today, scores 196 cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs. With the top overall scores in both owner satisfaction and value, the Lexus LS placed highest of any 2009 model year vehicle.
Large and luxury vehicles dominated this year’s results. The top 34 ranked cars, and 106 of the top 107, are large cars, luxury cars, sport utility vehicles, crossover SUVs or minivans. Only one small car, the BMW 1-Series, scored in the top 100, landing in the 35th slot. Toyota Prius is the next-highest-scoring small car, coming in 107th.
Awards are given for top-scoring vehicles scoring in each of twenty-three segments, as well as for the top-scoring brand. Nine manufacturers earned segment wins, led by Toyota with nine awards (including three for Lexus), followed by General Motors with six (Chevrolet 4, Cadillac 2), Honda with three, and Chrysler with two (Dodge 1, Jeep 1). Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen took top honors in one segment each.
(And check out our video on YouTube.)


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2009 Hyundai Genesis Wins AutoPacific 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award

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2009_Hyundai_Genesis_IVA.jpgThe Hyundai Genesis wins AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award in the Aspirational Luxury Car segment. In its first year on the market, the Hyundai Genesis swept AutoPacific’s owner awards. “The most recent win by Genesis is of AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award shows that Hyundai expertly targeted its owners when designing this luxury sedan,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “That Genesis won both Vehicle Satisfaction and Ideal Vehicle Awards is testament to the Hyundai product-development process and fine-tuning the marketing message to attract the right buyers to the car.” Categories in which the Genesis excel include:
* Passenger room
* Cargo space
* Power and acceleration
* Ease of getting in and out


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2009 Hyundai Elantra Wins AutoPacific 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award

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Hyu_09_Elantra_IVA.jpg“The Hyundai Elantra wins AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award. Being the Ideal Compact Car is tough to achieve. There are so many important qualities that it is difficult to score well in all of our rating categories, but the owners of the Hyundai Elantra rated their car above all others in the class,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “In a product segment where buyers are often not very passionate about their cars, Elantra owners feel strongly positive about their cars.” Attributes for which the Elantra most strongly scored include:
* Exterior size and styling
* Handling
* Safety features
* Ingress/egress


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Survey Indicates Ford Benefits From Troubles Of Others And Not Taking Bailout

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07AnnualMtg_9387_HR.jpgPublic Responds Positively to Ford’s Actions, but Some Still Have Reservations
TUSTIN, Calif. (June 17, 2009) — American consumers’ opinions about Ford Motor Company have been positively influenced by the company’s decision not to accept government bailout funds, and by the bankruptcy filings of rivals General Motors and Chrysler. Automotive research and analysis firm AutoPacfic conducted an online survey of more than 900 U.S. consumers regarding their purchase intent and opinions of individual car companies. Highlights include:
* Asian and European manufacturers scored highest when the survey asked “How concerned are you about buying/leasing a vehicle from” a particular maker, with an average of 61% “Not concerned at all.” Ford scored 48%, far ahead of GM’s 15% and Chrysler’s 14%.


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2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring: Another Really Competent Hyundai

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Hyundai_2009_ElantraTouring_rear34.JPGWanna know why the Elantra Touring looks absolutely nothing like the sedan that it shares its name with?
This wagon addition to the Elantra lineup was really sort of a last minute add to Hyundai’s US product portfolio. You might recall that the previous Elantra was available as a SAAB-esque hatchback, and the one before that was available as a station wagon. However, because Hyundai’s Korean management knew that Americans seemed to overwhelmingly prefer sedans over hatchbacks or wagons, they made the decision pretty early on to offer the current Elantra as a sedan only.


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2009 Hyundai Sonata Wins AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Mid-Size Car

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2009_HyundaiSonata.jpgEvolving through four generations and sporting a fresh facelift for the 2009 model year, the Hyundai Sonata won against extremely strong competition. Facing off against the segment-defining Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Hyundai Sonata won owners over and pulled off a significant class win in the Premium Mid-Size Car segment. Attributes where the Sonata is the clear class leader include:
• Value from its reasonable operating costs, its solid warranty – 100,000 mile powertrain, and its affordable price and monthly payments
• Exterior size
• Interior storage/compartments
• Driver’s seat forward and rearward visibility


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