SANTA BARBARA, Calif.A study by ALG, an independent subsidiary of TrueCar Inc., indicated that Toyota’s perceived quality score rose more than two percent over the last six months, closing the gap with leading mainstream brand Honda. Additionally, Lexus once again came out on top among luxury brands, according to the company’s Fall 2011 Perceived Quality Study (PQS).

“The continued rally of Toyota is evidence of the brand’s widespread reputation for quality and ownership loyalty. This is the third straight survey where Toyota has shown relatively strong growth,” said Eric Lyman, vice president of residual value solutions for ALG. “If this trend continues, the brand might soon regain the top spot from Honda in the mainstream category.”

Twice a year, ALG surveys approximately 3,000-4,000 U.S. consumers to gauge perceptions of a number of mainstream and luxury automotive brands for its PQS. Of the 23 brands included in the Fall 2008 survey that remain in the survey today, Ford brands, Kia and Hyundai have racked up the biggest long-term gains, according to ALG. Hyundai led the group by moving from 18th place to 9th place, Ford Cars and Ford Trucks moved from 15th to 7th and 8th to 3rd place, respectively, and Kia jumped from 23rd place in 2008 to 18th place.

“These three automakers have made impressive efforts to improve brand perception and we can see that it has truly paid off in the mainstream rankings,” Lyman added. “The perception of where luxury brands stand in relation to each other seems to be solidly cemented in the minds of consumers, owing to the consistency of the luxury rankings.”

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