J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study – Korean brands take the lead, Fiat, General Motors and Ford move up on rankings
Korean brands Genesis, Kia and Hyundai held the top three spots, respectively, in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors and Ford all beat the industry average for improvements moving up on the rankings. Last year, Kia, Genesis and Porsche held the top spots. Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo ranked at the bottom of the list. Ranking Good news for Ford Motor Company: At least by one important measure of quality, its current lineup beats most rivals’ — including all of the Japanese brands.
The survey, which listed the Porsche 911 as the model with the best score, shows vehicle quality improving for the 4th consecutive year to its best level to date. However, the study did find more problems — from 1.6 to 3.3 problems per 100 vehicles in mass market models and from 3.3 to 5 problems per 100 vehicles in premium models — with advanced driver assistance systems, such as cruise control, park assist and backup, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, J.D. Power’s vice president of global automotive, in a news release. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.” The results released on 20th June 2018 are based on responses to 233 questions from more than 75,700 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 vehicles after 90 days of ownership conducted from February to May of this year, according to the release.
The annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey is one of several widely watched measures of the quality of automakers’ vehicles. The 2018 edition, released on Wednesday, places Ford near the top — trailing only Hyundai and Kia among mainstream auto brands.
Here’s a look at the survey’s results and what they do (and don’t) tell us about Ford and its rivals.
The J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, or IQS, asks participants to report problems with new vehicles that occurred in the first 90 days of ownership. It’s distinct from the otherimportant J.D. Power auto-quality survey, the Vehicle Dependability Survey (VDS), which measures problems in the third year of ownership.
The IQS covers 33 brands, including nearly every auto brand sold in the United States. (The few exceptions include low-volume luxury brands like Ferrari and Aston Martin, as well as Tesla, which for whatever reason has chosen not to make its customer-registration data available to J.D. Power. Also missing from this year’s results are the Fiat and Smart brands. Both were included in the survey, but they didn’t show up in the results because the sample sizes were too small.)
The IQS’ results are reported by brand, as depcited in graphical representation below. In addition, J.D. Power gives awards to the best-performing models in several different vehicle segments. Simply put, the IQS provides some information about how well an automaker’s vehicles are assembled, while VDS tells us something about how the vehicles hold up over time. The thing to remember is that there are a number of different ways to measure “quality,” and the IQS is just one of them.
The score is the average number of problems reported per 100 vehicles; obviously, the lower the score the better it is in ranking.
Ford also won five of the segment awards, the most among automakers. Hyundai won four, and GM, BMW, and Nissan won three each. This is the second year in a row in which Ford has outpaced all of its Japanese and American rivals. (Ford also outpaced most of the German brands in 2017 and 2018. Only Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche, which has been near the top of the rankings for years, beat the Blue Oval in the last two editions of the survey).
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