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Porsche still best-quality

Boxing on: Porsche's second-generation Boxster has the fewest problems in the first three months of ownership, according to JD Power and the nearly 100,000 owners its surveyed.

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.

25 center imageLeft: 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):
4 Honda108
9 Infiniti117
35 Land Rover170

2007 JD Power IQS Segments Awards (PP100):
Sub-Compact Car:
1Kia Rio
2Honda Fit (Jazz)
3Hyundai Accent

Compact Car:
1Honda Civic
2Toyota Corolla
3Hyundai Elantra sedan

Compact Sporty Car:
1Mazda MX-5
2Scion tC
3Subaru Impreza

Compact Premium Sporty Car:
1Porsche Boxster
2Mercedes-Benz CLK
3Mercedes-Benz SLK

Entry Premium Car:
1Lincoln MKZ
2Acura TSX
3Cadillac CTS

Mid-size Premium Car:
1Mercedes-Benz E-class
2Lexus GS350/430/400H
3eqInifinti M-Series
3eqVolvo S80

Large Premium car:
1eqAudi A8
1eqMercedes-Benz S-class
3Lexus LS460

Premium Sporty Car:
1Mercedes-Benz SL
2Porsche 911
3Lexus SC430

Mid-size Sporty Car:
1Ford Mustang
2Toyota Solara
3Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Mid-size Car:
1Mercury Milan
2eqFord Fusion
2eqMitsubishi Galant

Large Car:
1Toyota Avalon
2eqFord Five Hundred
2eqMercury Montego

Compact SUV:
1Honda CR-V
2Nissan Xterra (X-Trail)
3Hyundai Tucson

Mid-size SUV:
1Toyota 4 Runner
2Toyota Highlander
3Mercury Mountaineer

Large SUV:
1Toyota Sequoia
2Chevrolet Suburban
3GMC Yukon

Mid-size Premium SUV:
1Lexus RX350/400h
2Lincoln MKX
3Lexus GX470 (Prado)

Large Premium SUV:
1Lincoln Mark LT
2Lincoln Navigator
3Hummer H2

2007 JD Power Assembly Plant Quality Awards (PP100):
North/South America:
PlatinumFord, Wixom, Michigan (Lincoln Town Car)35
SilverGM, Oshawa2, Ontario, Canada (Buick LaCrosse, Pontiac Grand Prix)42
BronzeAmerican Honda, East Liberty, Ohia (Civic sedan, Element)44

GoldToyota, Kyushu, Japan (Lexus ES/IS/RX, Toyota Kluger)41
SilverToyota, Fujimatsu, Japan (Toyota Prius)44
Bronze eqAmerican Honda, Sayama, Japan (Acura RL/TSX, Honda Accord/CR-V)47
Bronze eqAmercian Honda, Suzuka, Japan (Honda Civic Hybrid sedan, Civic sedan, Fit, S2000)47

GoldBMW, Regensburg, Germany (BMW 3 Series coupe/sedan)37
SilverMercedes-Benz, Sindelfingen, Germany (Mercedes C/CL/CLS/E/S-class)41
BronzeAudi, Neckarsulm, Germany (Audi A6/A8/RS4/S6/S8)44

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