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

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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 ›

Automakers Face Tough Market with More Appealing Redesigns, All-New Models

David Sargent

The auto industry has taken a battering during the past few years. However, it is clear that throughout this period, automakers have never lost sight of the fact that survival—and ultimately success—only comes from winning over customers in the dealer showroom. Offering highly appealing vehicles is one of the primary means . . . Continue Reading Automakers Face Tough Market with More Appealing Redesigns, All-New Models

Initial Quality of Carryover Models Better than Ever

Overall initial quality of new cars and light trucks in the United States has improved from 2010, averaging just 107 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) vs. 109 PP100 in 2010 (a lower PP100 score equates to higher quality). However, there is a 10% decline in the initial quality of launch models—those that are all-new or have had a major redesign—compared with 2010, based on results from our 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS). Our IQS is based on responses from more than 73,000 purchasers or lessees of new 2011 model-year vehicles and asks about problems experienced during the first 90 days of ownership.

David Sargent

Data from the study indicates that the average PP100 score for launch models in 2011 jumps to 122 PP100, up from 111 PP100 in 2010 (initial quality of launch models had improved every year from 2007 to 2010). Conversely, carryover models—those not receiving significant updates for the 2011 model year—have better initial quality than ever before.

Of 42 all-new or redesigned light-vehicle models that are rank-eligible in the 2011 IQS, only seven rank among the top three in their respective award segment. The seven include the following: Acura TSX (Total), Chevrolet Camaro (Total), Dodge Durango, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Equus, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible (Total), and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan/Wagon (Total). In 2010, 17 all-new or redesigned models ranked among the top three of their respective award segment. Only one launch model, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible (Total), receives a segment award (vs. five launch models in 2010). Continue reading ›

Quality Gap Between Passenger Vehicles and Pickups Narrows In South Africa

In its most recent study on the initial quality of passenger vehicles and pickup trucks in South Africa, J.D. Power records major improvements compared to the last time the study was conducted. In fact, the evaluation of 228 problem symptoms across nine factors* finds that the initial quality gap between passenger vehicles and pickup . . . Continue Reading Quality Gap Between Passenger Vehicles and Pickups Narrows In South Africa

New-Vehicle Owners in India Willing to Pay More for Quality

Nearly one-half (49%) of new-vehicle owners in India indicated that quality was a major reason to purchase their vehicle. These buyers also said they are willing to pay more—7% more, on average—for a high-quality vehicle than owners who do not cite quality as a purchase reason, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2010 . . . Continue Reading New-Vehicle Owners in India Willing to Pay More for Quality

Initial Vehicle Quality Rises in China; Gap between Domestic and International Brands Shrinks

New-vehicle initial quality in China, which has risen steadily during the past 11 years, has improved by 6 percentage points this year from 2009, mainly due to advances by Chinese domestic brands along with improvements by international brands, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2010 China Initial Quality StudySM (IQS).

An ongoing trend . . . Continue Reading Initial Vehicle Quality Rises in China; Gap between Domestic and International Brands Shrinks

Mercedes S-Class Delights New-Vehicle Owners in All Categories

Occasionally, the Global Automotive Blog will profile some of the car and light-truck models that excel in J.D. Power’s key automotive studies. Profiles will generally include study highlights, Power Information Network® (PIN) retail sales transaction data, as well as insight from J.D. Power experts. Today, we’ll feature the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which ranked highest in . . . Continue Reading Mercedes S-Class Delights New-Vehicle Owners in All Categories