Initial Quality in Malaysia Advances for Fourth Straight Year

Malaysia, PenangFor a fourth consecutive year, overall new-vehicle initial quality in Malaysia improves significantly, according to the 2013 Malaysia Initial Quality Study (IQS), based on responses from more than 3,100 new-vehicle buyers during the first two to six months of ownership.*

The 2013 Malaysia IQS findings are encouraging because the automotive market in Malaysia is becoming increasingly competitive with a rising number of new models, which makes it essential for brands to produce high-quality cars and trucks. Continue reading ›

Certified Used Vehicles are More Attractive to India’s New-Vehicle Buyers


Mohit Arora

Some 13% of new-vehicle buyers in India considered a used vehicle during their shopping process—an increase of 10% over the past three years, according to our 2013 India Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which evaluates sales satisfaction among 8,434 new-vehicle owners who purchased their new vehicle between September 2012 and April 2013.

Findings show that more than one-third (37%) of new-vehicle buyers who considered a used vehicle this year indicated using the Internet during their shopping process to find information about vehicle financing, trade-in options and service-related issues.

In contrast, only 27% of new-vehicle owners who only considered new vehicles used the Internet for shopping, primarily to look up vehicle features and specifications. Continue reading ›

Initial Quality in Japan Rises with Improvements in Fuel Efficiency

japan map-72Overall initial quality of new vehicles in Japan  improves slightly from 2012, partly due to improvements in engine and transmission performance, including fuel efficiency, according to our 2013 Japan Initial Quality Study (IQS), which is based on responses from 11,210 new-vehicle owners after the first two to nine months of ownership.

Overall initial quality averages 100 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2013, which is slightly better than 101 PP100 in 2012. Although the incidence of defect/malfunction problems increased in seven of the nine factors measured ( 2.4 PP100 increase), the number of design-related problems—such as windows fogging, transmission, excessive fuel consumption—declined by 4.7 PP100 from 2012. Continue reading ›

New Models, Redesigns Perform Better on 2013 APEAL Study

Newly launched and redesigned models receive higher scores for appealing to their owners than do carryover models, according to our 2013 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. In fact, among the 23 segment award recipients, eight are new or redesigned.

Nearly two-thirds of these newly introduced or redesigned models perform above their . . . Continue Reading New Models, Redesigns Perform Better on 2013 APEAL Study

Chevrolet Dominates in Model Segment-Level IQS Rankings

General Motors models receive the most segment awards for initial quality in the J.D. Power 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The Detroit-based automaker’s Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC nameplates altogether produce 8 of the 26 model-level segment award winners. The next brands with the most problem-free models at the segment level are manufactured by . . . Continue Reading Chevrolet Dominates in Model Segment-Level IQS Rankings

Porsche Earns Highest IQS Ranking; GMC and Chevrolet Make Top Five

Porsche, the luxury brand that is part of Germany’s Volkswagen Group, ranks highest in initial quality among all nameplates included in the J.D. Power 2013 Initial Quality Study. This year, the German premium sporty brand averages 80 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).

Following Porsche in the initial quality rankings this year is GMC, the . . . Continue Reading Porsche Earns Highest IQS Ranking; GMC and Chevrolet Make Top Five

Defects can be Fixed; Design Problems Remain Obstacles to Initial Quality


David Sargent

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the problems that buyers and lessees identify in their new vehicles during the first 90 days are related to poor design and technology-related issues rather than manufacturing defects or malfunctions, according to the newly revamped J.D. Power 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS).

In addition, this year’s IQS determines that defects, which account for a much smaller percentage (34%) of the problems in the redesigned study, are more likely to be fixed at the dealership, whereas design problems may last the lifetime or life cycle of the vehicle, which could be five or more years.

Revamped Initial Quality Study (IQS) Details Owners’ Feedback

Completely recast for 2013, the new IQS captures design-related problems and defects or malfunctions experienced by buyers and lessees in their new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. The new IQS survey is conducted online rather than by a mail-in questionnaire, which means there is an opportunity to gain more detailed feedback from new-vehicle owners.

A year ago, in the 2012 IQS, we observed that technology challenges were responsible for a majority of initial quality problems. In 2013, issues with technology continue to be the bane of both new-vehicle owners and manufacturers and adversely affect the auto industry’s overall initial quality index in 2013, which averages 113 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Although the number of problems cannot be compared with past years’ results due to study redesign, some of the same problem areas identified in the previous year’s study remain in the 2013 study’s results. Continue reading ›

Gap Continues to Diminish Between Vehicle Initial Quality and Dependability


David Sargent

The dependability of vehicles in the U.S. market continues to improve, according to J.D. Power research as illustrated by the shrinking of the gap between initial quality of new models that are now three years old, according to our 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which is based on responses from more than 37,000 original owners of 2010 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.

The industry average score gap between initial quality and dependability of models that are now three years old has narrowed to just 17 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

In 2013, overall vehicle dependability averages 126 PP100—a 5% improvement from the 2012 average of 132 PP100—and is the lowest problem count since the inception of the study in 1989. Among brands measured in the study, 21 of the 31 included improve in dependability from 2012.

It’s also noteworthy this year in our VDS that the domestic and the Japanese brands achieve the largest year-over-year advances in dependability—each improve by 6% from 2012. Continue reading ›

Lexus Earns Highest Initial Quality Score in 2012 China IQS

International luxury brands rank highest in initial quality in China, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 China Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). Lexus has the fewest problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)—averaging just 54 PP100, which is 92 fewer problems than the industry average of 146 PP100. Rounding out the top five brands in initial quality are three premium German brands—Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi—and one mass-market brand: Dongfeng Honda.

This year there is global diversity in the model-level rankings. For instance, a Korean automaker and U.S. automaker each earn two model awards in the 10 vehicle segments. Among the 215 models evaluated in the study, Beijing Hyundai and General Motors each earn two model awards this year, while three Japanese brands—Toyota, Honda and Suzuki—each garner one model-level award. German brand BMW also receives one award as does China’s domestic brand Wuling. Continue reading ›

Initial Quality Advances in China Driven by Improvements among Domestic Brands


Dr. Mei Songlin

China’s domestic brands outpace the industry in initial quality improvements, according to our 2012 China Initial Quality Study (IQS). Remarkable advances by the domestic brands have been made in three areas: ease in shifting gears (manual transmission); fuel efficiency; and incidence of brake dust. However, none of the Chinese domestic brands rank above industry average in initial quality in 2012, which means there is still significant room for improvement.

The 2012 China IQS, which is based on evaluations from 20,639 new-vehicle buyers in 43 cities across China during the first 2 to 6 months of ownership, analyzes design-related problems as well as defects and malfunctions. An initial quality score is determined by evaluating problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100). Fewer problems indicate higher quality.

On another encouraging note, overall initial quality across the industry in China is the best in 12 years—since the inception of the study in 2000. This year’s overall industry score is 146 PP100, down 16 PP100 from an average 162 PP100 in 2011. Much of the advance in initial quality this year has been driven by improvements among the Korean and Chinese domestic brands. Continue reading ›