Taking the third spot was German carmaker Volkswagen (VW), which had ranked fifth in last spring's PQS. VW edged out Nissan, which fell to fourth place from third. Rounding out the top five mainstream brands was Ford Trucks. ALG tabulates results separately for domestic manufacturers' cars and trucks/SUVs due to the wide perception gap that exists between these two categories.
Ford Cars showed the strongest year-over-year improvement in perceived quality, followed by Ford Trucks/SUVs. Ford's ability to avoid bankruptcy and launch new models in 2009 has likely generated increased consumer confidence in the brand. Hyundai rounded out the top three in terms of greatest year-over-year improvement. --Karl Greenberg