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Vexed Viva

Bottom of the barrel: According to a quality survey conducted by JD Power and Associates earlier this year, the Suzuki-branded version of the Holden Viva ranked in last place.

JD Power quality audit puts Suzuki variant last

17 Oct 2005

GM HOLDEN managing director Denny Mooney has played down results from a JD Power and Associates quality survey in the United States that earlier this year ranked in last place a Suzuki-branded version of the GM Daewoo-built J200 Holden Viva.

Released in May, JD Power’s 2005 Initial Quality Study – considered the industry benchmark for new-vehicle initial quality – ranked the Suzuki Motor Corporation last behind 35 other brands.

The study measured 135 vehicle attributes across nine categories, including dynamics, engine and transmission, and a broad range of quality-problem "symptoms" reported by vehicle owners, who are surveyed after 90 days of ownership.

The results showed that the Suzuki brand – which included its best-selling J200 Forenza sedan and wagon and the J200 Reno hatchback – scored 151 problems per 100 cars, up from 149 in the previous survey. The industry average was 118.

Mr Mooney, who is also a board member of GM Daewoo Auto and Technology, told GoAuto last week that he was conscious of the results but said they were difficult to assess accurately because JD Power no longer releases intricate details of the surveys.

He was also keen to point out that Holden’s quality and customer satisfaction experience with the J200 in Australia had been extremely positive.

Holden has honoured and carried out the warranty and servicing issues of all Daewoos – including the J200 Lacetti that was sold here for 16 months from September 2003 – from the end of 2004.

13 center imageLeft:US-badged Suzuki Forenza

However, one Holden insider did admit that early J200 cars exported to the US, which included Suzuki-badged vehicles, lagged in quality and forced the issue to be addressed at the South Korean source.

The insider added that GM-DAT was acutely aware of the problem, and that the changes implemented to improve quality was a priority if it is going to "take on Toyota and rivals like that".

The J200 is sold as the Daewoo Lacetti in South Korea, Chevrolet Lacetti or Nubira in Europe and as the Chevrolet Optra in Canada.

In Australia, as the Viva, it is covered by Holden’s three-year, 100,000km warranty.

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