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Porsche tops international quality survey - again

Racing ahead: Porsche extended its margin over the other brands.

Car-makers praised for improvements but warned about new multi-media technology

Porsche logo10 Jun 2008

FOR the third year in succession, Porsche has scored the top result in the latest JD Power Initial Quality Study in the United States, with an extended margin over all the other carmakers.

The IQS measures problems per 100 vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership covering not only faults but also poor design and is regarded as the most significant measure of overall vehicle quality.

In the latest survey released by JD Power and Associates, which polled 81,500 new car buyers with 228 questions, Porsche romped home with a score of 87 – well clear of Japanese luxury brands Infiniti (98) and Lexus (99).

The Nissan-owned Infiniti was the big mover, moving up from ninth position last year.

 center imageLeft: JD Power and Associates 2008 Initial Quality Study results(measured in problems per 100 vehicles).

Mercedes-Benz finished equal fourth overall with a score of 104, but at the same time its Sindelfingen plant in Germany was singled out for a Platinum Plant Quality Award that was handed down in London, with Porsche’s 911 plant in Stuttgart receiving a silver award.

Sindelfingen – which builds the CL, CLS, E-class and S-class models – is certainly doing its bit for Mercedes, with a plant result of just 33 problems per 100 vehicles.

Toyota was the top-ranked high-volume brand, finishing equal fourth with Mercedes-Benz, but its only individual class winner was the Sequoia large SUV.

In the car segments, Honda shone at the lower end with the Fit/Jazz winning sub-compact from a surprising Korean duo (Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent) while Civic beat the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Elantra in the compact segment. Honda also won the compact SUV segment with the CR-V.

The top medium car was the new Chevrolet Malibu from the Mitsubishi Galant while the Pontiac Grand Prix beat two Mercury models in the large car segment.

Ratings improved by six per cent across the board over last year’s survey while Porsche improved by four per cent but extended its lead from three points to 11 points.

JD Power and Associates vice president of automotive research David Sargent said that the overall improvement was helped by some strong new-vehicle launches as well as a continued reduction in the level of defects and malfunctions.

“This gain is driven not only by strong advances from many of the high-volume brands such as Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, but also by very significant improvements by many other automakers,” said Mr Sargent.

“This industry-wide improvement is a testament to the effort that automakers are putting into listening to the voice of the customer, and the hard work they have undertaken to integrate that feedback to design, engineer and manufacture better-quality vehicles.

“From working closely with the industry, we see the importance that is placed on initial quality. Vehicle manufacturers and consumers alike are reaping the rewards of this effort.

“As consumer demand for new and more advanced wireless communication, navigation and audio technology continues to grow, manufacturers face challenges related to how well these systems are integrated into their vehicles.

“In particular, issues with difficult-to-use audio and entertainment controls and voice command recognition failure are among the top ten problems most frequently reported by customers.”

Read more:

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