'Yes, We Can,' Says J.D. Power To Domestic Auto

  • June 17, 2010
Domestic auto brands have made history. For the first time in the 24-year history of J.D. Power & Associates' Initial Quality Study, which records owners experience of vehicle quality in the first three months of ownership, domestics have demonstrated higher initial quality than import brands. The firm says the industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles in 2010, increasing slightly from 108 problems in 2009. Domestic brands' initial quality, as a whole, has improved by 4 in 2010 to an average 108 versus 109 for imports.

Big improvements came from Ford Focus, Ram 1500 LD and Buick Enclave. "In particular," said the report, "initial quality of Ford models has improved steadily for the past nine years. In addition, as a corporation, Ford Motor Company (including Volvo) has 12 models that rank within the top three in their respective segments in 2010-more than any other corporation." The firm says General Motors Company has 10 models that rank within the top three in their segments.



But perception is the problem. Initial quality performance demonstrated by U.S. brands in 2010 contrasts sharply with consumer sentiment from one year ago, per the firm, which says J.D. Power Web Intelligence Division data between May and July 2009 shows that consumers' online chatter about automotive quality was about difficulties U.S. automakers were facing. Consumers thought these problems were largely caused by poor product quality.

The firm says that the all-new Honda Accord Crosstour and the redesigned Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus and Lexus GX 460 each took top spots in initial quality in their respective segments. The Ford Fusion, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Sedan and Porsche Panamera also had high initial quality scores, Porsche's seatbelt issues with Panamera notwithstanding.

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