June 30, 2005

Automotive Quality - JD Power

JD Power's long term vehicle durability survey results came out today. It is showing that the American Automotive companies are catching up fast to the Japanese on long term durability.

The gains by Detroit's automakers show that recent quality improvement efforts are starting to bear fruit. U.S. automakers took the top spot in 12 of 19 vehicle segments, compared with 7 of 17 product categories a year ago.

Below is the chart of top vehicles in each segment (Bolded=American Vehicles)
Compact car: Chevrolet Prizm
Entry midsize car: Chevrolet Malibu
Premium midsize car: Buick Century
Full-size car: Buick LeSabre
Entry luxury car: Ford Thunderbird
Midsize luxury car: Lincoln Town Car

Premium luxury car: Lexus LS 430
Sports car: Mazda Miata
Premium sports car: Porsche 911
Midsize pickup: Chevrolet S-10 pickup
Full-size pickup: Cadillac Escalade EXT

Entry SUV: Honda CR-V
Midsize SUV: Toyota 4Runner
Full-size SUV: GMC Yukon/Yukon XL
Entry luxury SUV: Lexus RX 300
Premium luxury SUV: Lexus LX 470
Minivan: Ford Windstar

Long term durability is what keeps customers coming back to that vehicle brand or company so this is a very important survey for the American Companies.

The positive showing for Detroit automakers comes at a time when Asian brands, perceived by consumers to produce better quality vehicles, are gaining market share in the United States.

If this gets out into the mainstream media then maybe people will start believeing that American Automotive Quality is just as good as Japanese Automotive Quality. There is a huge stigma out there that American Automotive Quality is far worse then Japanese Automotive Quality but that is just not true, now we have the numbers to prove it.

Below is a table of defects per 100 vehicles, industry average is 237 (American Companies bolded):
Lexus 139
Porsche 149
Lincoln 151
Buick 163
Cadillac 175

Infiniti 178
Toyota 194
Mercury 195
Honda 201
Acura 203
BMW 225
Ford 231
Chevrolet 232
Chrysler 235

Saturn 240
Oldsmobile 242
GMC 245
Pontiac 245

Mazda 252
Hyundai 260
Subaru 260
Volvo 266
Jaguar 268
Dodge 273
Nissan 275
Mitsubishi 278
Mercedes-Benz 283
Saab 286
Jeep 289
Suzuki 292
Audi 312
Daewoo 318
Isuzu 331
Volkswagen 335
Mini 383
Land Rover 395
Kia 397

So the next time you buy a vehicle for the long haul, don't exclude American Vehicles because of perceived quality problems. American Vehicles are just as good as Japanese Vehicles in the long run.

Posted by Quality Weenie at June 30, 2005 08:47 AM

My only question being - since I usually buy VERY used cars (>10yrs, 100,000 miles) - when did American cars start getting good? Should I wait another 10 years before I buy that Buick?

Posted by: Harvey at June 30, 2005 02:16 PM

From everything that I have read, the past 5-7 years American vehicles have been making the quality climb to the top.

So I would say an american vehicle within the past 3-5 years has good quality durability.

Posted by: Machelle at June 30, 2005 03:25 PM

Good post.

Posted by: Sissy at June 30, 2005 11:25 PM

I forgot to add that JD Power for the Durability survey survey's owners of vehicles that have had them 3, 5 and 10 years.

Posted by: Machelle at July 1, 2005 09:37 AM

There has been some foreign automaker recalls.

Posted by: Sharon at August 20, 2005 07:16 AM