SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – ALG, a subsidiary of DealerTrack Holdings Inc. and a provider of residual values and depreciation data, today announced that Toyota’s perceived quality score (PQS) registered a sharp 5 percent increase in the last six months, with the carmaker bouncing back to second place from sixth among mainstream brands in ALG’s Fall 2010 Perceived Quality Study.

Dodge Cars (up 4 percent) and Jeep (up 3 percent) were the other two mainstream brands that showed the most improvement over their spring 2010 scores. Among luxury brands, Jaguar notched a 5 percent gain, although its PQS remains relatively low at 62.4. 

With a PQS of 81.4 and a 10.7 point lead over Toyota (70.7), Honda continued its dominance over all other mainstream brands. The third, fourth and fifth-place brands – Ford Trucks (69.9), Nissan (69.0) and Subaru (68.9) – are tightly bunched behind Toyota.

Mercedes-Benz again was the top-ranked luxury brand with a PQS of 83.9, slightly increasing its lead over runner-up Lexus in the last six months, which remained steady with an 81.9 PQS. BMW (81.6), Porsche (80.2) and Acura (77.4) rounded out the top five in the luxury category.

“The significant recovery for Toyota, which saw a dramatic 20 percent PQS drop in spring 2010 due to quality issues and massive recalls, can be attributed to marketing around vehicle safety, strong customer loyalty and good service,” said Eric Lyman, OEM Practice Director at ALG. “At Jaguar, recent design transitions have fostered a stronger emotional connection with the consumer, leading to an improvement in the perception of the brand.”

Since the inception of ALG’s PQS in the spring 2008, the biggest gains have been achieved by Ford cars, Ford trucks, Hyundai, Kia and Jaguar, respectively. The biggest declines in PQS over that period have been registered by Toyota, Saturn, Saab, Lexus and Scion, respectively.

ALG’s PQS measures consumers’ perceptions and beliefs about the quality of automobile brands in the U.S. market. The complete list with scores is available at