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Hyundai Accent tops Chinese customer poll

Hyundai’s Accent sedan ranked first in the small sedan segment in the Chinese market, customer satisfaction survey showed Wednesday.

This was the first time that Hyundai topped the list in a product rating for satisfaction among Chinese consumers, which was conducted by U.S.-based J.D. Power and Associates.

The Accent, dubbed Verna in China, garnered 854 points out of a maximum 1,000 in the poll among consumers who bought automobiles between October 2010 and June 2011.

The Hyundai sedan tied with the Yaris from Toyota in the “entry midsize” segment survey which evaluated a total of 20 cars.

The points for the Accent and Yaris were much higher than the 806-point average for all vehicles polled.

The Accent surpassed the Fit by Honda, Volkswagen’s Jetta, the Fiesta from Ford, and the SX4 by Suzuki. The runner-up in the category came in with 846 points.

The poll checks to see if carmakers are producing vehicles that owners find appealing and examines such areas as interior and exterior design, fuel economy, audio, entertainment and navigation systems, seats, engine performance, storage and overall driving experience.

A Hyundai spokesman said the Accent, which reached local consumers in August 2010, has fueled the company’s sales in China.

The subcompact has sold an average of 10,000 units per month since its launch, with total sales hitting 110,684 vehicles as of late October.

Meanwhile, J.D. Power and Associates said Hyundai’s brand image in China jumped by 17 notches from 20th in 2010 to 3rd in 2011.

The brand image of Kia Motors, an affiliate of Hyundai, rose to 4th from 10th a year earlier.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)
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