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Porsche still best-quality
Porsche and Ford claim the top honours in JD Power's 2007 Initial Quality Study
12 Jun 2007
PORSCHE and, wait for it, Ford have taken out top honours in the latest quality survey announced by highly regarded US automotive industry watcher JD Power and Associates.
While the famed German sportscar-maker was named top automotive nameplate for the second consecutive year (and also took out the "compact premium sporty car" award), the Ford Motor Company attracted five of this year's top model segment awards – more than any other car-maker – within the JD Power and Associates 2007 Initial Quality Study released last week.
Some 14 FoMoCo models placed in the top three of their respective segments, but big winners were the Ford Mustang, Lincoln Mrk LT, Lincoln MKZ, Mazda MX-5 and Mercury Milan. The result helped Lincoln climb from 12th last year to third in 2007.
Meantime, Porsche topped the overall nameplate ranking with an average of 91 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) - far better than the industry average of 125 PP100.
Second was Lexus (94 PP100), ahead of Lincoln (100 PP100), Honda (108 PP100) and Mercedes-Benz (111 PP100), which improved its rank by a study-best 20 positions this year, or 28 PP100. Second-biggest quality mover was Land Rover (up 34 PP100, but still bottom-of-list with 170 PP100), behind Saab, which improved its initial quality by 34 PP100.
The redesigned S-class helped Mercedes’ overall cause by improving 63 PP100 to 72 PP100, to tie with Audi’s A8 as the vehicles with the fewest problems. Both Mercedes and Toyota scored three segment awards each, with the latter claiming gongs for the E-class, SL-class and S-class, and the former honoured for its 4Runner, Sequoia and Tacoma off-roaders.
Honda increased its overall standing from sixth last year to become the top non-premium brand in 2007 and also won segment awards for its new Civic and CR-V, while Kia notched up the largest non-premium brand rank improvement by moving from 24th last year to 12th in 2007. Its Rio won the sub-compact category for the second consecutive year.
Left: Ford Mustang and Audi A8.
The 2007 Initial Quality Study, which comprises a 228-question survey, is based on responses from more than 97,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2007 model-year cars and trucks surveyed after 90 days of ownership. It is widely regarded as the industry benchmark for both new-vehicle design quality and build quality.
JD Power research has showed the automotive industry has improved in quality at the rate of six percent per year for the past 20 years and that, on average, a vehicle redesign increases problem counts by 10 PP100.
"Ideally, manufacturers should aim to achieve high initial quality when launching a new model, since this builds a strong foundation for future years and can become a differentiating factor relative to the competition," said JD Power and Associates director of product research and analysis, Neal Oddes.
"One year after launch, initial quality begins to improve by an average of 7 PP100. If a model launches with lower initial quality, it is more difficult for the manufacturer to keep pace with the competition over time."Meantime, a North American car factory has received JD Power's Platinum Plant Quality Award for the first time since 1999. Ford's Wixom assembly plant in Michigan, which produces the Lincoln Town Car, averages just 35 PP100.
2007 JD Power IQS Nameplate Ranking (PP100):
2007 JD Power IQS Segments Awards (PP100):
Compact Sporty Car:
Compact Premium Sporty Car:
Entry Premium Car:
Mid-size Premium Car:
Large Premium car:
Premium Sporty Car:
Mid-size Sporty Car:
Mid-size Premium SUV:
Large Premium SUV:
2007 JD Power Assembly Plant Quality Awards (PP100):
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