Dodge is first among 32 brands industry-wide,* and for the second straight year claims the top spot among mass-market brands, according to the J.D. Power 2021 Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study™.
Dodge is the first domestic brand to capture the No. 1 ranking two years in a row among mass-market brands, while Ram reprises its second-place performance from 2020.
The latest mass-market results mark the third consecutive year Dodge and Ram have outperformed their direct competitors in the prestigious study. Their No. 1-2 ranking last year reversed their finish order in 2019.
In addition, the latest APEAL study names the 2021 Ram 1500 as the best vehicle in the large light-duty pickup category. It denotes the second straight year the Ram 1500 has crowned that list.
The news comes hard on the heels of the brands’ continuing success in the most recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). Ram and Dodge finished No. 1-2 overall, echoing their 2020 surge when Dodge became the first domestic brand to top the industry, and Ram tied for third.
“I said last year that we would keep the throttle wide open, and these various results demonstrate our continuing resolve to do so,” said Mark Champine, Stellantis Head of Customer Experience, North America. “We remain on a mission to do better for our customers, and we know we have more work to do.”
APEAL rates the emotional bond between customers and model-year 2021 vehicles. This is determined from customer feedback about vehicle attributes from seating comfort to throttle response during the first three months of ownership.
The feedback is then aggregated on an overall 1,000-point APEAL index.
In the latest study, Dodge and Ram are separated by one point with scores of 882 and 881, respectively – the same margin that divided them last year. Each brand improved by 10 points over their performances in the 2020 study – four better than the industry average, which posted a six-point gain, from 842 to 848.
Further, the Dodge Charger sedan, Dodge Durango SUV, Ram 2500/3500 heavy-duty pickup and Jeep® Gladiator pickup placed second in their respective segments.
Jeep jumped three spots into a tie for eighth in this year’s IQS results, giving Stellantis three brands in the first quartile. Such performance is consistent with the mindset instilled by the company’s new Customer Experience organization, formerly known simply as Quality.
The new organization has a mandate that is more intense.
“Ours is a journey that never ends,” Champine says. “Because you can always do better.”
*Tied with Premium Brand