Cars are getting better and better. But wait! For the first time since 2007, the quality of new cars and trucks sold in the US slipped! OMG! Let’s hunt down the villains … (Quality of your brand after the jump.)
J.D.Power released its U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS). Says JDP:
“Overall, the industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2010, increasing slightly from 108 PP100 in 2009. However, initial quality for domestic brands as a whole has improved by 4 PP100 in 2010 to an average of 108 PP100-slightly better than the initial quality of import brands, which averages 109 PP100 in 2010.”
Last year it was 108 complaints per 100 cars. This year it’s 109.
So who’s the oinker that ruined the stats? Could only be one company: “Dragged down by Toyota Motor Corp., the quality of new cars and trucks sold in the United States slipped slightly this year,” writes Automotive News [sub].
A check of the JDP press release doesn’t bear that out, at least not at first glance. It states that “Toyota’s problem count increases by 16 PP100, moving it from sixth rank position in 2009 to 21st in 2010.” Ouch. That should create trouble in Tokyo.
“Clearly, Toyota has endured a difficult year,” said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. “Recent consumer concerns regarding Toyota’s quality are reflected in the nameplate’s performance in the 2010 study. That said, Toyota’s success was built on a well-deserved reputation for quality, and there is little doubt that they will do everything possible to regain that reputation.”
Detroit’s carmakers have to that Ford for catching up with their import rivals. Ford is on #4, behind Porsche, Acura, Mercedes and Lexus. Lincoln is on place 8. The rest of the Detroit gang is still below industry average.
2010 J.D. Power IQS Nameplate Ranking
|Rank||Nameplate||Problems per 100 vehicles|
It will be a rude awakening in Wolfsburg tomorrow, when Martin Winterkorn will call a meeting of all chiefs and ask them how in the world it could happen that VW is near the bottom of the verdammte list, schon wieder!
I know what the answer will be, I was in those meetings: “Look, Herr Doktor, we know it looks bad. But if you analyze the numbers, we are less than 24 percent below industry average, and if you apply a margin of error of 5 percent, we could be better than Jaguar. Nicht wahr?” It’s not going to work. It never did.