J.D. Power and Associates Reports


  • J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
    Toyota Motor Corporation, General Motors Corporation Garner Most Awards in
    2005 Initial Quality Study

    HUMMER, Nissan and Scion Show Strong Improvement

    WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.,: 18 May 2005 ― Toyota Motor Corporation and General Motors Corporation, the two largest automobile manufacturers in the world, capture 15 of the 18 top model segment awards, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) released today.

    In the study, Toyota Motor Corporation earns 10 of the top model segment awards, with the Lexus SC 430 honored as the highest-ranking model for the second consecutive year, at 54 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Other Toyota models earning segment awards include the Toyota Prius (Compact Car), Scion tC (Sporty Car) and Toyota RAV4 (Entry SUV).

    General Motors earns five top model segment awards, including those for the Chevrolet Malibu/Malibu Maxx (Entry Midsize Car), Buick Century (Premium Midsize Car) and Chevrolet Suburban (Full-Size SUV).

    "The 2005 IQS results contain some genuinely good news for General Motors," said Chance Parker, executive director of product and research analysis at J.D. Power and Associates. "The improvements of the quality of several models and at their North American plants are both very positive signs."

    Ford Motor Company captures two model awards, with the Ford Explorer Sport Trac (Midsize Pickup) and Ford F-150 LD (Full-Size Pickup) ranking highest in their respective segments.

    Assembly Plant Awards

    General Motors Corporation sweeps the North/South America plant quality awards. General Motors’ Oshawa #2, Ontario, Canada, plant, which produces the Buick Century, Buick LaCrosse and Pontiac Grand Prix, earns the Gold Plant Quality Award. The Oshawa #1, Ontario, and Hamtramck, Mich., plants earn the Silver and Bronze Plant Quality awards, respectively.

    For the fourth consecutive year, Toyota Motor Corporation’s Tahara, Japan, car plant receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for worldwide plant quality with a score of 59 PP100. The Tahara plant produces the Lexus GS 300/GS 430 and the Lexus LS 430. Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji, Japan, plant and Nissan’s Tochigi, Japan, plant earn the Silver and Bronze Plant Quality awards, respectively, among Asia Pacific plants.

    Among European plants, Ford Motor Company’s Jaguar plant in Halewood, Liverpool, U.K., receives the Gold Plant Quality Award. BMW’s Regensburg, Germany, plant earns the Silver Plant Quality Award. BMW’s Munich and Porsche’s Stuttgart plants tie for the Bronze Plant Quality Award.

    Marked Improvement

    The study shows that a number of makes and models demonstrate marked improvements from the 2004 study. Chief among them is HUMMER, with a 36 percent reduction in reported problems. Since its debut in the 2003 IQS, HUMMER has reduced reported problems by 115 PP100.

    "In the past, there was a lot of talk about HUMMER’s poor quality being related to poor fuel economy," said Parker. "This year’s results clearly show that the people at HUMMER knew this wasn’t the case. They identified many customer-reported problems and solved them."

    Nissan also performed dramatically better in the 2005 study, with the Nissan Quest as the most-improved model, recording an impressive 104 PP100 improvement. Other models showing notable improvements are the Kia Spectra (64 PP100 improvement), the HUMMER H2 (63 PP100 improvement), and the Scion xA (62 PP100 improvement).

    Overall, the automotive industry garners only a minor increase in industry-wide initial quality in 2005. After showing an 11 percent quality improvement from 2003 to 2004, the overall industry average has improved only one PP100 in 2005 to 118 PP100.

    "Competition in the automotive industry is incredibly intense," said Parker. "Even though the 2005 results may suggest a plateau in quality, manufacturers should not become complacent. The IQS has tracked similar apparent ‘plateaus’ before in 1996 and 2003. In both cases, the following year’s results showed dramatic quality improvements. Car companies that take their eye off the ball risk being left behind."

    Manufacturers demonstrate overall improvement in more than one-half of the 135 problem symptoms included in the study, compared to 2004. Among the nine problem categories surveyed, ride/handling/braking and exterior problems continue to cause the greatest challenge to manufacturers. Consumers report that the transmission causes the least number of problems.

    What IQS Measures

    IQS is a model-level study. It measures 135 attributes across nine categories, including ride/handling/braking, engine and transmission, and a broad range of quality problems symptoms reported by vehicle owners.

    The 2005 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 62,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2005 model-year cars and trucks, who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. This industry benchmark study for new-vehicle initial quality is now in its 19th year.

    About J.D. Power and Associates
    Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

    About The McGraw-Hill Companies
    Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, BusinessWeek and McGraw-Hill Education. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 37 countries. Sales in 2004 were $5.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.
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