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Total Car Score Releases 2012 Top 10 Brands List

Total Car Score Releases 2012 Top 10 Brands List; Competition Tight Between OEMs

Total Car Score on Tuesday announced its Top Scoring Manufacturers of 2012 and the numbers are close, with less than three points separating the first and tenth-ranked OEMs.

The listing of the top manufacturer brands focuses on the strength of their overall product range.

Topping the list is Infiniti, with seven models averaging a Total Car Score of 82.09, a jump of 2.2 points over its average vehicle score for the 2011 model lineup.

Ranked a close second is Mercedes- Benz, with 17 models earning an average Total Car Score of 81.82.

In year-over-year improvement, Kia saw the biggest increase in manufacturer score from 2011, with a rise of 3.76 points; it was ranked 10th.

Chrysler followed in year-over-year improvement with an increase of 3.71 points, and took the eighth spot on the list.

Total Car Score founder and chief executive officer Karl Brauer, in what he labeled a transitional year for the auto industry, said the list of Top 10 Best Car Brands is based on numerical ratings for 2012 model year vehicles currently on the market.

"The list provides a data-driven assessment of which automakers are producing the most desirable, highest quality cars, crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks," said Brauer. "With the economy and car sales on the rebound, this is a transitional year for the automotive industry. Our analysis provides an overall perspective of how automakers are faring at this unique point in time. We performed the analysis and created the rankings because we wanted to highlight the state of the automotive industry in such a critical year."

These Top Scoring car companies have at least four widely available models on the market for the 2012 model year. The OEM's score is based on the average Total Car Score for every model within the manufacturer's product lineup.

Rounding out the top 10 list behind Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz are Buick with a score of 81.30; Audi at 80.93; Lexus at 80.51; Volkswagen at 80.40; Acura at 80.01; Chrysler at 79.78; BMW at 79.35; and Kia at 79.31.

"The extremely close scores between the top 10 ranked auto manufacturers show just how competitive the industry has become," said Brauer. "The 11th and 12th ranked brands, Subaru and Hyundai, were less than one point behind Chrysler, BMW and Kia, the automakers ranked eighth, ninth and 10th and, perhaps more dramatically, less than three points behind top-ranked Infiniti.

"It's interesting to see Buick and Chrysler in the top 10, as the future of both brands was in doubt just a few years ago. This reflects how far the domestic auto industry has come in a short time," Brauer added.

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