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On a Scale of 1 to 10, the FIAT 500 is an 869?

Okay, let’s face it – 869 would not be the typical rating you’d assign to someone / something to get the point across of how great it is; for example…. Bo Derek: 10, the perfect score on a test: 100, getting a hit every time at bat: 1000. However, 869 is the number that Strategic Vision, Inc. has given to the FIAT 500 Hatchback, and we’re more than happy to take it!

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Strategic Vision is a company of clinical psychologists and business professionals with more than 30 years of experience studying how and why consumers make buying decisions and the factors that drive owner satisfaction and loyalty. Strategic Vision is based out of San Diego and recently announced the results of its 2012 Total Quality Index™ (TQI) Study. Total Quality measures how closely the experience of quality matches the explicit desires of the customer. In terms of Total Quality, Volkswagen Group of America is the leading corporation, followed by a tie between Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group.

Strategic Vision calculated their Total Quality Index from 45,390 buyers who purchased 2012 models during September to December 2011. They have a quantitative “ValueCentered®” NVES study in order to do their calculations. Chrysler Group is considered the most improved corporation. “They are definitely beginning to turn things around and the Fiat 500 (Small Car Segment winner) is just one example. Attributes like Fiat 500’s Exterior Styling and Workmanship, and even Sound Systems, all become part of the Total Quality equation when one explicitly captures the heart and mind of how customers think when spending $20,000 to $100,000 on a vehicle,” adds Darrel Edwards, Ph.D. and Strategic Vision Chairman/Founder.

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“This is really great news for all those corporations, but the key to success and sales will be products that satisfy the customer’s increasingly insatiable need for innovation, and the complete picture of Quality,” says Strategic Vision President, Alexander Edwards…… “With Total Quality, we factor in all the perceptions that are proven to create the impression of Total Quality; this is ultimately how people think about vehicles and spend money,” concludes Alexander Edwards.

Here is a list of the Small Car Segment and their Scores.

Small Car Segment

Rank Vehicle TQI Score
1 Fiat 500 Hatchback 869
2 Smart fortwo Coupe 858
3 Nissan Sentra 856
4 Chevrolet Sonic 853
5 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan 847
6 Honda Civic 846
6 Hyundai Elantra Sedan 846
8 Kia Forte 840
9 Chevrolet Cruze 838
10 Mitsubishi Lancer 837
Segment Average: 837

Note that the Segment Average is 837….Fiat rises a full 32 points above, and beats the closest competitor by over 10 points. Not surprising to anyone here at Safford of Fredericksburg.

The real message is that innovation is connected to perceptions of quality. If innovation is strong, especially such that customers can say they “love it,” when referring to the product, then perceptions of quality will be greatly (positively) influenced. Strategic Vision research has proven that those who recognize and acknowledge innovation (most new car buyers) will purchase, and not just be driven by counting problems. With all manufacturers being in such close traditional quality proximity (counting problems only), there is little question that those car manufacturers who offer rich and impactful, intuitive, motivationally designed cars will have the advantage going into the future.

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Let’s see:

….innovative? check

….rich and impactful? check

….motivationally designed? check

Do our customers love their FIATs? you be the judge:


August 17, 2012

‘I recently purchased my 500 Sport and Dario, my sale represenative, made that experience as awesome as it is driving this amazing car….I so highly recommend Dario and the entire team at Fredericksburg Fiat. What a great and fun experience — again, just like driving the Fiat 500. Thank you so much!

PS The 0% financing for 60 months was an added plus as well! Thanks Safford Fiat!’

‘I drove to this dealership not knowing a whole lot about the Fiat, I just knew it was in my price range when I had to replace my car sooner that I was hoping. Dario met me outside as soon as I drove up and put me at ease with his friendly greeting and demeanor. He knew he was dealing with a Fiat rookie and proceeded to tell me all about the car in a way that indicated he believed in the product he was selling. I’ve driven Fords all my life and traded in a Mustang convertible, and I can honestly say that I really doubt I would have received the same amount of attention and passion about the product if I went down the street to the Ford dealership. Dario and the team made the experience enjoyable and easy, especially with my trade-in since it involved recovering my title from my home state DMV. I’m really enjoying my new Fiat :-).’

Strategic Vision has presented Total Quality Awards™ annually since 1995.
Other Total Quality winners from Chrysler Group were the Dodge Charger and redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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