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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

New 2010 JD Power Survey Results

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New-vehicle quality dips, while Ford leads Detroit 3 gains, J.D. Power says

David Phillips

Automotive News -- June 17, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- Dragged down by Toyota Motor Corp., the quality of new cars and trucks sold in the United States slipped slightly this year -- the first time since 2007, according to a study released today.

But Detroit's automakers -- helped by Ford Motor Co. and some of the smoothest new-model launches ever -- have matched or surpassed Asian and European rivals in initial vehicle quality for the first time, based on the closely watched J.D. Power and Associates survey.

For the 2010 model year, General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group averaged 108 problems per 100 vehicles, compared with 109 problems for every 100 Asian and European vehicles, J.D. Power said today.

Models such as the Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Ram pickup and Buick Enclave helped drive Detroit's gains for 2010, the market research firm said.

Ford -- with 12 models ranked among the top three in their respective segments -- was largely responsible for Detroit's showing in the latest survey. The Ford brand, with less than one problem per new model, jumped from eighth place in 2009 to fifth this year -- its best showing ever. Ford is the highest-ranked nonluxury brand in the survey as well.

Overall, GM's initial quality slipped, with all four brands below the industry average, though the automaker had 10 models ranked in the top three of their respective segments. Buick, with 114 problems per 100 models, was the only GM brand to improve in the survey.

Chrysler's four brands also fell below the industry average, although the new Ram truck brand scored just below the industry average.

2010 IQS Nameplate Ranking

Problems per 100 vehicles

Porsche 83

Acura 86

Mercedes-Benz 87

Lexus 88

Ford 93

Honda 95

Hyundai 102

Lincoln 106

Infiniti 107

Volvo 109

Industry Average 109

Ram 110

Audi 111

Cadillac 111

Chevrolet 111

Nissan 111

BMW 113

Mercury 113

Buick 114

Mazda 114

Scion 114

Toyota 117

Subaru 121

Chrysler 122

Suzuki 122

GMC 126

Kia 126

Jeep 129

Dodge 130

Jaguar 130

Mini 133

Volkswagen 135

Mitsubishi 146

Land Rover 170

Industry slips

Overall for 2010, new-vehicle quality slipped industrywide to 109 problems per 100 models from 108 in 2009. The results are based on a J.D. Power survey of 82,000 new-vehicle buyers after 90 days of ownership.

A big reason for the slight drop in industry quality was Toyota Motor Corp.’s Toyota brand, which slipped below the industry average for the first time to 21st place, with 117 problems reported per 100 models.

The publicity surrounding sudden acceleration in several Toyota models was top-of-mind for many new owners of the brand’s vehicles, J.D. Power said.

“Clearly, Toyota has endured a difficult year,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power.

Overall, Japanese brands averaged 108 problems per 100 models surveyed, a tie with U.S. domestic brands. South Korean brands averaged 111 problems and Europeans 114 problems.

BMW’s Mini was the most improved brand.

Detroit showing

For Detroit automakers, the results contrast sharply with a year ago, when the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler underscored longtime consumer perceptions about the quality of domestic brands.

“This year may mark a key turning point for U.S. brands as they continue to fight the battle against lingering negative perceptions of their quality,” said Sargent. “Achieving quality comparability is the first half of the battle. Convincing consumers -- particularly import buyers -- that they have done this is the second half.”

The quality of new or revamped models continued to improve in 2010, led by product launches from Ford, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. In the past, new models, on average, experienced substantially more quality problems than carryover models.

But in its latest survey, J.D. Power said more than a half of all models launched during the 2010 model year performed better than their respective segment averages.

At the same time, the initial quality of carryover and refreshed models fell in 2010.

At the top

Porsche AG, which launched the four-door Panamera, was the top-ranked brand, with 83 problems per 100 models surveyed. It was followed by Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Ford. Honda, Hyundai, Lincoln, Infiniti and Volvo also finished above the industry average.

Last year, Lexus topped the survey with 84 problems per 100 models. Porsche and Lexus have led the survey for the past six years.

At the bottom of the survey, with 170 problems per 100 models, was Land Rover. Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Mini, Jaguar and Dodge also placed near the bottom.

Sargent said the industry has nailed “the oily parts” of the car and truck, with engine, transmission and chassis problems all but extinct. But new technologies such as Bluetooth, navigation and cameras continue to stymie automakers and consumers.

“The industry is still struggling to seamlessly integrate these features in a way that does not frustrate consumers,” Sargent said. “It can be anything from a voice recognition system that fails to recognize commands or a bad sensor that monitors tire pressure.”

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100617/RETAIL/100619882/1424#ixzz0r8EEdH00

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After the bankruptcy, GM clearly stumbled. I hope this will be a wake up call for them.

Edit:

Although, this statistic is interesting....

Overall, Japanese brands averaged 108 problems per 100 models surveyed, a tie with U.S. domestic brands. South Korean brands averaged 111 problems and Europeans 114 problems.

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Toyota sinks, Ford rises, Porsche tops in J.D. Power quality list

01:01 PM

Toyota's safety troubles appear to be spilling over to manufacturing quality as it tumbled from 6th to 21st place in this year's J.D. Power and Associates' annual Initial Quality Survey.

Porsche -- its Panamera is shown above -- was the top brand overall in fewest initial defects per vehicle. It was followed by Acura, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota's Lexus brand.

But Ford-brand vehicles came next, breaking into the top 5 for the first time in the study's 24 years. And in another first, the Detroit makers collectively beat imports, as Power hailed them in the study for their quality gains.

At the bottom with most defects: Land Rover, far behind the next worst-scorers, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen.

The study, the most-watched survey in the industry for quality straight from the assembly plant, measures how many problems show up in vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership.

ALSO ON DRIVE ON: Toyota hiring 2,000 as resumes work on Blue Springs, Miss., plant.

The Toyota brand fell dramatically in rank as its count rose to 16 defects per 100 vehicles. The poor quality showing comes on top of a series of embarrassing safety recalls. "Clearly, Toyota has endured a difficult year," said David Sargent, VP of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Recent consumer concerns regarding Toyota's quality are reflected in the nameplate's performance in the 2010 study."

Said Toyota spokesman John Hanson: "Of course we are disappointed in the drop in the Toyota and Lexus IQS rankings. But this year's study was conducted at the height of intense media coverage of our recent recalls, so it's no surprise to see the impact this had on this specific rank for the vehicles involved."

He said that vehicles not involved in the recalls saw higher scores compared to last year

The industry average for 2010 in initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles, up slightly from 108 last year. But initial quality for domestic brands rose 4 points this year to an average of 108, one better than the average for all brands.

"Domestic automakers have made impressive strides in steadily improving vehicle quality, particularly since 2007," said Sargent. "This year may mark a key turning point for U.S. brands as they continue to fight the battle against lingering negative perceptions of their quality."

Among individual vehicles showing improvement: Ford Focus, Ram 1500 pickup and Buick Enclave. Ford Motor has been improving steadily and has 12 models in the top three in their categories this year, more than any maker. General Motors wasn't far behind with 10 models in the category top threes. And four of Ford's winners were Volvos, a brand it has a deal to sell.

Even some new models, which often need time to work out kinks, showed high initial quality. The new Honda Accord Crosstour, redesigned Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus and Lexus GX 460 each ranked No. 1 in their respective segments. The Ford Fusion, Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe and sedan and Porsche Panamera also launched with "notably high initial quality levels," says Power.

Here's the list by brand, from best to worst, and the individual model leaders by category:

BRANDS OVERALL (defects per 100 vehicles):

Industry average was 108 per 100

Porsche (83)

Acura (86)

Mercedes-Benz (87)

Lexus (88)

Ford (93)

Honda (95)

Hyundai (102)

Lincoln (106)

Infiniti (107)

Volvo (109)

Ram (110)

Audi (111)

Cadillac (111)

Chevrolet (111)

Nissan (111)

BMW (113)

Mercury (113)

Buick (114)

Mazda(114)

Scion (114)

Toyota (117)

Subaru (121)

Chrysler (122)

Suzuki (122)

GMC (126)

Kia (126)

Jeep (129)

Dodge (130)

Jaguar (130)

Mini (133)

Volkswagen (135)

Mitsubishi (146)

Land Rover (170)

TOP INDIVIDUAL MODELS BY SEGMENT:

Sub-Compact Car:

Top-Ranked: Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit

Compact Car

Top-ranked: Ford Focus

Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra

Compact Sporty Car

Top-ranked: Mazda MX-5

Mazda Miata, Scion tC

Compact Premium Sporty Car

Top-ranked: Volvo C70

Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe

Entry Premium Car

Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Acura TL, Cadillac CTS

Midsize Premium Car

Top-ranked: Lexus GS

Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, Volvo S80

Mid-size Sporty Car

Top-ranked: Ford Mustang

Dodge Challenger

Large Premium Car

Top-ranked: Lexus LS 460

Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Porsche Panamera

Mid-size Car

Top-ranked: Honda Accord

Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu

Large Car

Top-ranked: Ford Taurus

Buick Lucerne, Nissan Maxima

Compact Crossover/SUV

Top-ranked: Toyota FJ Cruiser

Honda CR-V, Honda Element

Compact MPV

Top-ranked: Scion xB

Chrysler PT Cruiser Wagon, Nissan Cube

Entry Premium Crossover/SUV

Top-ranked: Acura RDX

BMW X3, Volvo XC60

Mid-size Crossover/SUV

Top-ranked: Honda Accord Crosstour

Honda Pilot, Ford Edge

Large Crossover/SUV

Top-ranked: Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon

Mid-size Premium Crossover/SUV

Top-ranked: Lexus GX 460

Infiniti FX-Series, Volvo XC70

Large Premium Crossover/SUV

Top-ranked: Cadillac Escalade

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Infiniti QX56 (tie) Land Rover Range Rover (tie)

Large Pickup

Top-ranked: Chevrolet Avalanche (tie), GMC Sierra LD (tie)

Ford F-150 LD

Mid-size Pickup

Top-ranked: Nissan Frontier

Ford Ranger, Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Minivan

Top-ranked: Toyota Sienna

Kia Sedona, Dodge Grand Caravan

link:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/06/toyota-tumbles-ford-rises-in-jd-power-initial-quality-rankings/1

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Good publicity I suppose, but JD Power holds very little credibility as far as these things are concerned in my opinion.

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All 4 GM brands lost significant ground compared to last year.

Caddy went from third place to thirteenth. Chevy was above average last year behind Ford, now it is fourteenth. GMC looks in the worst shape.

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