JD Powers says Toyota is still KING of Quality

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Study: Detroit lifts quality but Toyota still king By DAN STRUMPF, AP Auto Writer Dan Strumpf, Ap Auto Writer 1 hr 19 mins ago NEW YORK – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have made strides in new vehicle quality over the last year, but they still lag behind their foreign competitors, according to a closely watched study released Monday by J.D. Power and Associates. The initial quality of 2009 model year vehicles sold by the Detroit Three improved by an average of 10 percent from last year, the marketing and consulting company said. Industrywide, scores improved an average of 8 percent. "The Detroit automakers are keeping their focus on designing and building high-quality vehicles, which is a precondition for long-term success," said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power, in a statement. Lexus, Toyota Motor Corp.'s luxury line, was the top brand in J.D. Power's initial quality study, an annual survey of vehicle owners that measures mechanical and design problems in the first 90 days of ownership. Porsche was the No. 2 brand, followed by GM's Cadillac, then Hyundai and Honda. Toyota, which supplanted General Motors Corp. as the world's largest automaker last year, also swept 10 vehicle segment awards. Its assembly facility in Higashi-Fuji, Japan, that builds the Lexus SC 430 and the Toyota Corolla took the J.D. Power's top plant award. \:\! \:\! \:\! The worst-performing brand was Mini, with owners reporting 165 problems per 100 vehicles. Though Chrysler's scores improved year over year, it had no brands above the industry average. It tied for one segment award, with its PT Cruiser Wagon sharing the top award in the compact activity vehicle segment with Honda's CR-V. Chrysler, however, is discontinuing the car. Cadillac and Chevrolet were GM's only two brands whose 2009 models performed above average. The four brands GM is purging under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab — were the company's worst rated. The Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Yukon SUVs were rated best in their segments. Jamie Hresko, GM's vice president for global quality, said the automaker has worked hard to improve vehicle quality over the last five years. Chevrolet and Cadillac account for 70 percent of GM's volume, he said, and top marks for those segments are an indication the effort is paying off. "Is it where we need to be? No," Hresko said. "To have our core brands — Cadillac and Chevrolet — be on par with Toyota, we have reached a level of quality that will allow us to change perceptions." Ford Motor Co., the only major U.S. automaker that has not filed for bankruptcy protection or accepted government aid, also saw scores improve for three of its four brands: Ford, Mercury and Volvo. But its Lincoln brand's score fell, and only Ford and Mercury performed above the industry average. The average industry score improved to 108 problems per 100 vehicles, down from 118 in 2008. J.D. Power credited the improvement to several well-received new models that were launched in 2009. It said vehicles like Hyundai's Genesis, Kia's Borrego, Toyota's Venza and Volkswagen's CC performed better than their segment averages. Several redesigned 2009 models also scored well, J.D. Power said. The scores come during a tumultuous time for the auto industry, with sales at their worst level in decades and taxpayers stuck funding the restructuring of GM and Chrysler Group LLC to the tune of billions of dollars. Although the two automakers have been pummeled by the economic crisis, many analysts have complained that a shortage of high-quality small car offerings has hobbled their performance in the down market. GM has several new, small vehicles on the way that industry analysts say should help it better compete with established offerings from Toyota, Honda and other foreign competitors. It plans to start building the subcompact Chevrolet Cruze next year and says it will get about 40 miles per gallon. It also plans to sell the Chevrolet Spark minicar in the U.S. in 2011. The road may be tougher for Chrysler. Cars like the sporty 500 made by its new owner, Italy's Fiat Group SpA, won't make it to the U.S. until late next year. The Auburn Hills, Mich., company plans to roll out new versions of its popular Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and Chrysler 300 large sedan by the end of next year, along with a rechargeable electric vehicle, but these plans likely have been delayed by the bankruptcy process. J.D. Power's rankings were based on questionnaires from 80,900 people who bought or leased new 2009 vehicles between February and May. The questionnaires ask 228 questions on issues from handling, braking and engine trouble, to seat comfort and stereo systems. The rankings are closely watched by automakers and consumers, and are frequently used in advertising. However, some critics question whether they show any real statistical difference between automakers. Mini's ranking, for example, equates to 1.65 problems per vehicle. Top-performer Lexus had 84 problems per 100 vehicles, or 0.84 per vehicle. So on average, less than one problem per vehicle separates the best brand from the worst. Yeah, and one stroke per player seperates the winner from the loser in the Masters, one run in baseball, one extra point in Football, one point in basketball, one goal on hockey and the list goes on and on.....
 
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 Originally Posted By: PT1
It tied for one segment award, with its PT Cruiser Wagon sharing the top award in the compact activity vehicle segment with Honda's CR-V. Chrysler, however, is discontinuing the car.
The PT Cruiser is made in Mexico.
 
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 Originally Posted By: brianl703
Initial quality is one thing. How many of those cars are going to be on the road 20 years (or even 10 years) from now?
They fully expect you to buy another new car long before those 10 years are up. We will have a new MPG target to meet, and the government will give you $5K to turn in your existing new car that will be considered a gas guzzler in the near future.
 

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 Originally Posted By: benjamming
Yes, I agree brianl703, reliability is a real concern that is not easily measured.
Easily measured......not so easy to swallow if you are GM or Chrysler and now all eyes are on you to do better with the same old radical union workforce. Ford is the only US automaker that understands this. Look for GM's ratings to crash as they pump anything with wheels out the door just to get some cash flow going. The pressure on them will be tremendous from the Obama crew.
 

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 Originally Posted By: DeeAgeaux
 Originally Posted By: PT1
It tied for one segment award, with its PT Cruiser Wagon sharing the top award in the compact activity vehicle segment with Honda's CR-V. Chrysler, however, is discontinuing the car.
The PT Cruiser is made in Mexico.
No doubt the reason for the high quality rating. Same applies to Ford's Mexican operations.
 
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I like how there are only four possible ratings even though there are 5 stars. Someone from JDP has obviously done pyschological research on this effect Anyway this survey is just initial quality, it's pretty useless imho. I care more about the 2-5 year timeframe because that's when things start to break down.
 
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Toyota loves to copy,they did it to their newest model and it looks like the Dodge Magnum.Ford has one lie,they say their vehicles are unstealable: Wrong!One wrecking yard in my area has two Ford trucks,stolen and recovered without the keys.Theieves are figuring out to steal them very easily.The insurance companies totaled these two trucks with clean titles.The Camrys are known for getting stolen and theives sell the parts off of them including Honda Accords since the parts are very expensive.
 
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Looks liked they got it right.....Some of you that complain about the report...I wonder if Ford was in the top 5....I guess then the report would be spot on....The bottom line is that the Toyotas and Hondas are still rated above the Fords Chrysler and GM except for the Cady......Read em and weep...Some day they may make the list.............
 
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2007 and up Chrysler products are unstealable and I know a couple whom own a 2008 Dodge Nitro that was broken into.Thieves tried to steal it and could not.Chrysler set it up to lock up the transmission if someone tries to steal it without the key.The vehicle has to be transported by a flat bed and has to be programed over again even with the original key
 
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 Originally Posted By: wafrederick1
2007 and up Chrysler products are unstealable and I know a couple whom own a 2008 Dodge Nitro that was broken into.Thieves tried to steal it and could not.Chrysler set it up to lock up the transmission if someone tries to steal it without the key.The vehicle has to be transported by a flat bed and has to be programed over again even with the original key
No vehicle is unstealable. Thieves are armed w/the latest info and use it. You said it yourself...flatbed truck. Theives have them.
 
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