J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Hyundai Genesis Ranks Highest in Inaugural Vehicle Launch Index

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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 22 // -- The 2009 Hyundai Genesis ranks highest in launch performance among vehicle models introduced during the first ten months of 2008, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Launch Index (SM) (VLI) released today.

The inaugural Vehicle Launch Index quantifies how well new vehicle models--including new entries to the market and all-new and redesigned models--perform during the first eight months after launch. The VLI examines various factors that are critical to the financial success of a launch, including turn rate, vehicle revenue, dealer gross profit, incentive spend, credit quality and residual value. In addition, VLI includes the key factors of vehicle quality and design, based on the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (SM) (IQS) and Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.(SM)

The Vehicle Launch Index is an independent measure designed to help automakers plan and execute successful vehicle launches in order to maximize revenue and profits, minimize incentive spending and maintain high residual values during a model's lifecycle.

"Launching new vehicles successfully is critical to the financial success of every automaker," said Gary Dilts, senior vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. "Given lower consumer demand, vehicle proliferation and the financial pressures on the auto industry, every manufacturer must get it 'right' from the start. By carefully analyzing more than 90 vehicle launches that have been executed in the United States, we have determined the key factors for launch success."

The 2009 Hyundai Genesis is the leading example of initial launch success and ranks highest among the 27 models examined in the 2009 VLI, with a score of 689 on a 1,000-point scale. Following the Hyundai Genesis in the rankings are the 2009 Ford F-150 (673) and 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan (663).

J.D. Power and Associates forecasts that automakers will conduct 205 new-model launches in the U.S. between 2009 and 2012 and will invest approximately $50 billion in the process. Of the 205 new models, 80 will be new entries to the market, 52 will be all-new models, and 73 will be major redesigns.

"With so much at stake, it is more critical than ever for manufacturers to launch new models that meet their financial targets, as well as product quality and consumer appeal benchmarks," said Dilts. "While some domestic manufacturers are facing tight scrutiny from the federal government and taxpayers, every automaker across the globe is being closely monitored both by governments and shareholders. Strong showings by new models are vital to the economic security of the automakers and will be instrumental in rebuilding Americans' confidence in the auto industry."

The VLI has identified the following key elements that drive the success of newly-launched models:

Conversely, the following conditions lead to less-successful model launches:

The 2009 Vehicle Launch Index includes 2008 and 2009 model-year vehicles first sold between January and October 2008. Vehicles must be all-new or major redesigns and must sell at least 5,000 units during the first eight months to be included. The index is based on proprietary information collected through the Power Information Network and J.D. Power and Associates' consumer research.

The Vehicle Launch Index is part of J.D. Power and Associates' 10-module Launch Assurance Program designed to provide automakers with immediate and actionable insights about their vehicle models from initial concept and product development through manufacturing and distribution to the initial ownership experience.

Vehicle Launch Index Ranking

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

    2009 Hyundai Genesis                689

    2009 Ford F-150 673

    2009 Volkswagen Tiguan 663

    2009 Nissan Maxima 636

    2009 Subaru Forester 631

    2009 Honda Pilot 629

    2009 Ford Flex 620

    2009 Honda Fit 619

    2008 Dodge Challenger 618

    2009 Volkswagen Passat CC 601

    2009 Nissan Murano 593

    2009 Mazda 6 592

    Industry Average 582

    2009 Lincoln MKS 580

    2009 Volkswagen Routan 579

    2009 Acura TSX 576

    2009 Infiniti FX 575

    2008 BMW 1 Series 568

    2009 Jaguar XF 567

    2009 Chevrolet Traverse 565

    2009 Audi A4 563

    2008 Pontiac G8 563

    2009 Toyota Corolla 561

    2009 Acura TL 523

    2009 Dodge Journey 513

    2009 Pontiac Vibe 504

    2009 Dodge Ram Pickup Lt Duty 459

    2009 Toyota Matrix 439

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; Troy, Mich.; (248) 312-4119; media.relations@jdpa.com" target="_new">media.relations@jdpa.com

Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com" target="_new">media.relations@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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