But the staff at J.D. Power and Associates is on a two-week vacation
And Ford says it now wants TARP money!
Something's not right here ...
"US cars top foreign brands on quality survey"
By STEPHEN MANNING (AP) –
June 17, 2010
WASHINGTON — U.S. automakers have surpassed foreign brands for the
first time in a survey that measures the quality of new cars and
J.D. Power and Associates said Thursday that owners of vehicles made
by Detroit automakers reported fewer problems on average during the
first 90 days of ownership than those built by companies based
It was the first time that has happened in the 24 years the industry
research group has conducted the annual quality study that is a
closely watched measure of the durability and reliability of vehicles.
U.S. automakers have long lagged foreign brands, especially those from
Asian manufacturers like Toyota, which many consumers believe produce
higher quality cars and trucks than General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
But J.D. Power said Ford Motor Co. showed some of the biggest gains in
quality among individual brands, moving into the fifth spot. Porsche
was the top scorer. Toyota Motor Corp., which has suffered through
huge safety recalls earlier this year, saw its score drop.
"Domestic automakers have made impressive strides in steadily
improving vehicle quality," said David Sargent, J.D. Power's vice
president of global research.
The study ranks vehicles according to the number of problems reported
per 100 vehicles. The overall average for the industry was 109
problems per 100 vehicles. That industry average has fallen steadily
over the past decade.
U.S. manufacturers scored an average of 108 problems, while foreign
companies posted 109 problems. That is a marked difference than just
10 years ago, when import brands had far fewer initial problems than
those made by U.S. companies.
Luxury brands topped the list, with Acura and Mercedes-Benz holding
the second and third spots. Daimler, which makes the Mercedes-Benz,
had the best performing plant, an assembly facility in East London,
Land Rover had the highest overall number of average problems with
Ford was the best scorer among non-luxury brands, with 93 problems per
100 vehicles. J.D. Power said that Ford has shown steady improvement
over the last nine years.
The rankings are closely watched by automakers, which frequently use
them in advertising campaigns. Ford vice president of quality Bennie
Fowler said in a statement that the survey shows Ford's "steady and
meticulous attention to new model launches."
Toyota's ranking dropped to the 21st spot, down from the sixth ranking
in 2009. The Japanese automaker has built a strong reputation for
vehicle quality, but has seen its image suffer after wide reports of
unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The company has recalled 9
million vehicles worldwide since October over problems with gas pedals
and brakes in some models.
"Overall, we're disappointed but probably not surprised," said Jim
Lentz, Toyota's top U.S. sales executive. "If you look at when the
survey was fielded, it was right during the height of the recall and
the intense coverage of the recall."
He said vehicles not involved in recall saw their scores go up in the
study. He also noted that Toyota had six segment award winners, more
than any other manufacturer.
"We are paying close attention to what the customer is telling us
through J.D. Power."
[AP Auto Writer Dan Strumpf in New York contributed to this report.]