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Ford‘s meteoric rise may have hit a speedbump with the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality results showing the Blue Oval at its worst ranking in a decade, coming in at 23rd. Meanwhile, perrenial quality champion Toyota rebounded from 21st last year to 7th this year, after an annus horriblus of recalls, lawsuits and quality defects that saw millions of vehicles recalled.
Toyota’s Lexus brand captured the top spot, up from 4th, followed by Honda, Acura, Mercedes-Benz and Mazda. Porsche, last year’s leader, finished 6th. Ford was said to be dinged due to transmission issues, as well as consumer dissatisfaction with both the SYNC and MyFordTouch/MyLincolnTouch infotainment systems, which were said to be glitch-prone and unintuitive.
While the J.D. Power survey is regarded as a gold standard among consumers, the survey only measures problems within the first 90 days of ownership, and does not take long-term reliability into account.
ALG, a company best known for predicting residual values on vehicles in its automotive lease guides, also conducts ‘Perceived Quality’ studies. And the findings of its most recent one (Spring 2011); indicated that of all automakers that sell cars and trucks in the U.S., the most improved in the mainstream category was Kia Motors.
“For Kia, the consumer quality recognition is the payoff for a recent revolution in product quality and design supported by aggressive marketing campaigns,” declared Eric Lyman; ALG’s Director of Residual Value Solutions.
Other brands that reported notable gains in perceived quality included Land Rover; largely fueled by the growing popularity of the Ranger Rover Sport and new Evoque models.
In terms of the top five automakers in the mainstream category, there were few surprises: Honda, Toyota, Ford Trucks, Subaru and Nissan were ranked in that order as delivering the best in perceived vehicle quality. In the luxury category Lexus ranked first, followed by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Acura.
Hyundai edged out BMW and Audi in leading German car magazine Autobild’s annual quality survey. Hyundai also beat out Toyota, long considered the benchmark for quality and reliability.
Using owner feedback, recall information and data from Germany’s well known TUV technical inspection agency, the magazine’s yearly report is held in high regard in Europe.
“Hyundai is always proud to receive awards for its products, particularly this one from AutoBild, which places the company ahead of brands many have considered to be at the pinnacle of the industry.” said Hyundai Motor Company Marketing Director Oliver Mann.
Hyundai’s first place ranking comes at a crucial point in time for the Korean automaker, as it prepares an onslaught of new compact cars for Europe and prepares to move upmarket in North America, with the $60,000 Equus sedan leading the charge.
[Source: The Auto Channel]