2009 Hyundai GenesisEnlarge Photo
The good times for Hyundai keep on rolling: J.D. Power and Associates has given top marks in its Vehicle Launch Index to the 2009 Hyundai Genesis. The Index "quantifies how well new vehicle models -- including new entries to the market and all new redesigned models -- perform during the first eight months after launch." Among the many criteria that J.D. Power considers during the evaluation process are vehicle revenue, dealer gross profit, residual value, and data imported from the company's Initial Quality Study. In short, the Vehicle Launch Index offers a kind of holistic assessment of the vehicle, measuring how well it performs for the manufacturer, the dealer, and the customer.
Joining the Genesis in the Index's top five are the 2009 Ford F150, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan, the 2009 Nissan Maxima, and the 2009 Subaru Forester. In all, twelve vehicles managed to beat the industry average, including seven other models from Ford, Dodge, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Volkswagen.
But of course, we're sure you're curious about the low end, too. At the bottom of the pile we find the 2009 Toyota Matrix, which scored a full 150 points below the Genesis. The 2009 Dodge Ram (light duty), the 2009 Pontiac Vibe, the 2009 Dodge Journey, and the 2009 Acura TL finished up the bottom five. (Interestingly, the 2009 Toyota Corolla and the much-beloved-but-now-doomed 2008 Pontiac G8 also fared poorly in the survey.)
Our take: Hyundai's win would be impressive anytime, but to excel in revenue for manufacturers and dealers during a year that's been especially challenging for both is no small accomplishment. We're guessing that Hyundai's acclaimed public relations campaigns and improved perception of the brand get the bulk of the credit. Now let's see if the company can maintain its winning streak as it launches new models like the significantly higher-end Equus.