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Discussion Starter #1
It rates toyota #1 and Acura/Honda #2 tied with nissan.
There is another J.D. Power review not stating good items for Acura, I was a bit confused when I saw this article.

(09:01 May 31, 2002)
GM moves up in J.D. Power quality survey; Toyota still No. 1, Nissan slips

General Motors moved into the third-place spot on J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Survey, marking the first time a U.S. company has earned a top-three ranking among automakers with multiple brands.

Toyota Motor Corp. kept its first-place spot, while Honda Motor Co. placed second. Nissan Motor Co. slipped from third place in 2001 to sixth place this year, but in the ironic world of quality statistics, the automaker's recent U.S. success contributed to the fall.

The J.D. Power study, released Thursday, is based on data gathered from about 65,000 new 2002 model car and truck buyers and lessees who evaluated their vehicles after 90 days of ownership.

The Westlake Village, Calif., research firm uses the data to annually rank automakers, their vehicles and their plants based on quality.

GM had 130 problems per 100 vehicles, the study showed. That's an 11 percent improvement over last year, when it had 146 problems per 100 vehicles.

The Big 3 automaker said the improvement is largely due to an initiative, started in 1999, aimed at improving the quality of a vehicle from the design stage to final assembly. GM said it needs to push further with these efforts.

"All the competition continues to improve, which means we have to double our efforts to improve quality," said Gary Cowger, president of GM North America. "If we want to increase market share and net income, we need to make sure we are delivering quality products."

GM also had the top three vehicle assembly plants in North and South America, the study said.

This year, 22 of GM's plants are launching new or revised models. That compares with eight plants that were in that position last year.

Historically, it's unusual for an all-new model to top its segment in initial quality, J.D. Power said.

"Redesigning a vehicle, or coming out with a brand-new vehicle, challenges most every manufacturer," said Brian Walters, director of product research at J.D. Power. "And given that, GM and every manufacturer that's coming out with a great deal of new product will have to work doubly hard to improve quality."

A redesigned model is likely to drop 2 percent in its quality ranking compared to its predecessor, Walters said. In the second year, that model typically improves in quality by 17 percent, he said.

Nissan, which dropped to sixth place from third place, launched a complete redesign of its Altima in the 2002 model year. It also was the only automaker of the top seven to show lower results this year. Its problems increased to 152 per 100 vehicles from 145.

"We're not happy with that," said Jed Connelly, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan North America Inc. "There are certain things we noticed (on the Altima) … wind noise issues, radio static, some interior noise. … Those things are factored into the score and cost us some points."

Connelly said the automaker already has remedied some of the first-year glitches, and is working on the rest.

J.D. Power manufacturers' ratings also give extra weight to higher-selling vehicles. The popular Altima, launched in October 2001, accounts for up to 30 percent of Nissan North America sales.

Most automakers improved their quality in this year's study.

Toyota had 107 problems per 100 vehicles, down from 115. The quality leader shined in the truck segment, topping six of seven categories, including mid-size sport-utilities and full-size pickups. Out of 16 car and truck segments, Toyota and its luxury division Lexus led in the quality rankings in nine.

Second-place Honda improved to 113 problems per 100 vehicles, down from 133 last year.

DaimlerChrysler moved up a notch, sliding into the fourth-place spot with 141 problems.

"This is a strong indication of our efforts to focus on initial quality as we launch some very important new products, but we are also very focused on other measurements, including long-term ownership, durability and residual values," said Donald Dees, vice president of quality for the Chrysler Group.

Ford went up to fifth place from seventh place in 2001. Its problems per 100 vehicles fell to 143 from 162. Ford's rating includes Premier Automotive Group brands. Ford said Volvo was the most improved brand in the survey. It jumped to No. 5 among all brands. The study placed Toyota's Lexus brand in the top spot. Honda's Acura brand and Nissan's Infiniti brand tied for second place.

Ford's Expedition led the full-size SUV segment. The Thunderbird ranked highest in the entry luxury car segment.

Volkswagen, which tied with Nissan for sixth place, had 152 problems, an improvement from 159 a year ago. Volkswagen's rating includes the Audi brand.

Overall, the industry averaged 133 problems per 100 vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
another review

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Auto Industry Achieves 10 Percent Improvement in
Initial Quality—Largest One-Year Improvement Since 1997

Toyota Motor Sales Models Lead Nine of 16 Segments and
Virtually Sweep Top Spots in Truck Segments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 30, 2002

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.—In a market of ever-increasing quality expectations by consumers, the automotive industry improved initial quality by 10 percent over 2001, the largest quality improvement for the industry since 1997, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Initial Quality StudySM released today. Initial vehicle quality has improved by 24 percent over the past five years.

"This kind of improvement in quality doesn’t happen by accident," said Brian Walters, director of product research at J.D. Power and Associates. "It takes a concerted effort by the designers, engineers and assembly line workers of both manufacturers and their suppliers. Initial quality is an important driver to customer satisfaction with the ownership experience and has far-reaching impact on brand reputation."

Toyota Motor Sales models virtually sweep the seven truck segments, with the exception of the full-size SUV category, which is led by the Ford Expedition.

"With truck sales now surpassing 50 percent of the light-vehicle market, truck quality is critical to automakers," said Walters. "Toyota Motor Sales’ consistency in building truck models with high initial quality certainly gives them an advantage."

Of the 16 segments included in the study, Toyota and Lexus models lead nine segments, the most earned by a corporation in 2002. General Motors Corporation is the best-performing domestic manufacturer in the study, with four models earning top rankings, including the competitive premium midsize car segment. Ford Motor Company, which includes Mazda, tops three segments.

In addition to having a number of models topping segments in initial quality, Toyota Motor Sales and General Motors Corporation have both demonstrated above-average increases in quality, improving by 31 and 30 percent over five years, respectively.

Korean manufacturers Kia and Hyundai are the most improved corporations in 2002, improving by 21 and 19 percent, respectively, over 2001. Hyundai Motor America has demonstrated the largest five-year initial quality improvement at 42 percent. Other above-average five-year quality improvements include American Isuzu (39%), Mitsubishi Motor Sales (38%) and DaimlerChrysler (27%).

"Consumers have come to expect that the initial quality of their new vehicle will exceed that of their previous vehicle," said Walters. "If a manufacturer is not continuously improving its quality at a rate that meets or exceeds the industry average, it could be losing a quality edge to its competitors."

At the model level, the Chevrolet Malibu made the biggest quality gain over the past five years, improving by 58 percent, followed by the Buick Century, Chevrolet Corvette and the Lexus GS Sedan, each having improved by 49 percent.

Historically, it is unusual for an all-new model to top its segment in initial quality. However, the Ford Thunderbird debuts with an impressive top ranking in the competitive entry luxury segment. The Thunderbird is Ford’s best-performing initial quality model in 2002.

Car models ranking highest in their segment are:

Segments Car Models
Compact Car Toyota Corolla and Toyota Prius (tie)
Entry Midsize Car Chevrolet Malibu
Premium Midsize Car Buick Century
Full-Size Car Buick LeSabre
Entry Luxury Car Ford Thunderbird
Mid Luxury Car Lexus GS 300/GS 430
Premium Luxury Car Lexus LS 430
Sporty Car Mazda Miata
Premium Sports Car Chevrolet Corvette

Light-truck models ranking highest in their segment are:

Segments Light-Truck Models
Compact Pickup Toyota Tacoma
Full-Size Pickup Toyota Tundra
Entry SUV Toyota RAV4
Midsize SUV Toyota Highlander
Full-Size SUV Ford Expedition
Luxury SUV Lexus LX 470
Compact Van Toyota Sienna

2002 IQS Assembly Plant Awards

Toyota and General Motors dominate the plant awards for vehicles produced for the U.S. marketplace. Toyota’s Tahara, Japan, car plant, which produces the Lexus GS 300/430 and the Lexus LS 430, receives the platinum award for best worldwide plant quality. Two other Toyota plants in Japan also earn awards in the Asia Pacific region. Effectively, General Motors sweeps the plant awards for North/South America, including a tie for bronze by its C-plant in Lansing, Mich., and the NUMMI plant, which is a joint venture between GM and Toyota. BMW receives the top two awards in the European region, with DaimlerChrysler earning the bronze.

The 2002 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from nearly 65,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2002 model-year cars and trucks surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study, now in its 16th year, is considered the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality. Industry initial quality stands at 133 problems per 100 (PP100) vehicles, a 14 PP100 improvement over 2001.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a 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. Media e-mail contact: [email protected] or [email protected].

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.
 
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