WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — (WWJ) General Motors now stands at the top of the automotive world when it comes to vehicle quality, and it isn’t even close.
Eight of GM’s vehicles lead their segments in the annual Initial Quality Study from J.D. Power and Associates. No other company had more than two winners.
“We knew they were improving,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “We knew they’d probably have a pretty good year. We didn’t realize they were going to be quite this good. Quite frankly, they were a little bit surprised, too.”
Among the GM vehicles being honored in their categories: Buick Encore, Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, Camaro, Silverado and Tahoe and GMC Sierra.
“Nothing energizes us more than receiving the verification of quality from our customers,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, vice president Global Quality and U.S. Customer Experience. “The overall ownership experience of the people who buy our cars and trucks is founded on providing vehicles with innovative technologies, while ensuring highest levels of initial and long-term quality and services they can rely on.”
The annual J.D. Power study measures problems that buyers have with new vehicles. Over the years, the nature of those problems have changed. There are fewer issues with engines and transmission. Most of the complaints focus on creature comforts, electronics and other amenities.
Sargent says General Motors has made a lot of progress in a short time.
“Obviously a few years ago, we were talking about whether General Motors was going to even survive, or not,” he said. “People were questioning the results of their vehicles. Today’s results show that they are building vehicles with initial quality that’s better than anybody else in the industry.”
Those who work for GM are encouraged to see that owners are noticing the improvement.
“There is a very, very new, heightened focus on, y’know, you need to be better than the guy next to you, and you need to proved the better vehicles,” said GM spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin.
Porsche was the top automotive brand, with most companies showing improvement. Nissan was a notable exception. Sargent says many of its problems were caused by new vehicle launches.
Chrysler, which has had issues with quality, also saw improvement. Sargent says both GM and Chrysler learned a lot from the problems leading up to their 2009 bankruptcies.
“The trauma they went through a few years ago did focus their attention and made them realize even more than they probably did already, they have to provide products that consumers want to buy.”
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