UPDATE: J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Toyota Motor Corporation's Cambridge South, Ontario, Plant Receives Gold Plant Quality Award

Four Canadian-Built Models Rank within the Top Three in U.S. Initial Quality in Their Respective Segments

Jun 24, 2010, 21:00 ET from J.D. Power and Associates

TORONTO, June 17 /PRNewswire/ --

In the news release, J.D. Power and Associates Reports:  Toyota Motor Corporation's Cambridge South, Ontario, Plant Receives Gold Plant Quality Award, issued on June 17, 2010 over PR Newswire, in the chart titled, “2010 Assembly Plant Quality Award Recipients,” the third item in the Asia Pacific section should show that Kia Motors Corporation Kwangju Plant 2 in South Korea receives a Bronze Award with 35 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), rather than the Toyota Motor Corporation Kyushu 1 plant in Kyushu, Japan, with 37 PP100, as originally issued.

To calculate plant quality scores, J.D. Power and Associates uses detailed plant and vehicle model information provided by auto manufacturers. It was discovered after the press release was issued that one piece of information that J.D. Power received was inaccurate. Scores were recalculated based on the corrected information, resulting in the change in plant awards.

The original data for Kia Motors Corporation Kwangju Plant 2 inadvertently included some Kia Soul units that were actually produced at Kia Motors Corporation Kwangju Plant 1. Based on this correction, the score for Kwangju Plant 2 is 35 PP100, which is lower than that of the Toyota Motor Corporation Kyushu 1 plant.  Thus, Kia Motors Corporation Kwangju Plant 2 receives the Bronze Award, while the Toyota Motor Corporation Kyushu 1 plant ranks fourth in plant quality in the Asia Pacific region.

Only the plant scores for Kia Motors Corporation Kwangju Plant 2 and the Toyota Motor Corporation Kyushu 1 plant are affected by the correction; all other data in the press release remain unchanged.

The Toyota Motor Corporation Cambridge South, Ontario, plant receives the Gold Plant Quality Award in the North/South America region, averaging just 30 problems per 100 vehicles, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Initial Quality Study(SM) (IQS) released today.  

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The Cambridge South plant produces the Lexus RX and is the only plant outside of Japan to build a Lexus model.

The study captures problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories—design-related problems and defects and malfunctions. Plant awards are based solely on defect and malfunction counts.

Four Canadian-made vehicle models rank within the top three in their respective segments. These high-ranking Canadian-built models are:

  • Dodge Challenger (Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, plant) ranks second in the midsize sporty car segment
  • Dodge Grand Caravan (Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario, plant) ranks third in the minivan segment
  • Ford Edge (Ford Motor Company's Oakville, Ontario, plant) ranks third in the midsize crossover/SUV segment
  • Honda Civic (Honda Canada's Alliston 1, Ontario, plant) ranks second in the compact car segment (1)

"The success of Toyota's Cambridge South plant in the 2010 IQS, as well as that of high-performing models built in Canadian plants, is a testament to the skill and dedication of the Ontario communities that continue to deliver high-quality vehicles to the North American market," said Ryan Robinson, automotive practice leader of J.D. Power and Associates Canadian operations.

2010 Plant Quality Award Recipients

The Daimler assembly plant in East London, South Africa, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing vehicles yielding the fewest defects and malfunctions. The plant, which averages just 28 PP100, produces the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

In the Asia Pacific region, Toyota Motor Corporation's Kyushu 2, Japan, plant, which produces the Lexus ES, IS and RX, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award.

2010 U.S. Initial Quality Study Findings

For the first time since the inception of the study 24 years ago, U.S. auto brands, as a whole, have demonstrated higher initial quality than import brands (automakers headquartered in Europe or Asia Pacific).

Overall, the industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2010, increasing slightly from 108 PP100 in 2009. However, initial quality for U.S. brands as a whole has improved by 4 PP100 in 2010 to an average of 108 PP100—slightly better than the initial quality of import brands, which averages 109 PP100 in 2010.

Substantial improvements by many U.S. models—including the Ford Focus, Ram 1500 LD and Buick Enclave—drive the overall improvement of domestic automakers in 2010. In particular, initial quality of Ford models has improved steadily for the past nine years. In addition, as a corporation, Ford Motor Company (including Volvo) has 12 models that rank within the top three in their respective segments in 2010—more than any other corporation. General Motors Company has 10 models that rank within the top three in their segments.

Initial quality performance demonstrated by U.S. brands in 2010 contrasts sharply with consumer sentiment from one year ago. According to data collected by the J.D. Power Web Intelligence Division between May and July 2009, much of the online consumer discussion about automotive quality centered around the difficulties U.S. automakers were facing, and perceptions that these problems were largely caused by poor product quality.

"Domestic automakers have made impressive strides in steadily improving vehicle quality, particularly since 2007," said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. "This year may mark a key turning point for U.S. brands as they continue to fight the battle against lingering negative perceptions of their quality. However, there is still a long road ahead, and domestic manufacturers need to consistently prove to consumers that they can produce models with quality that equals or beats that of the import brands. Achieving quality comparability is the first half of the battle; convincing consumers—particularly import buyers—that they have done this is the second half."

According to the Web Intelligence Division, online consumer conversations about vehicle quality have recently shifted to a more concrete tone. In 2010, consumers are more often discussing quality as it applies to their own personal vehicle purchase decisions, rather than how domestic brands overall are affected by perceptions of low quality.

Initial quality of new models and major redesigns continues to improve in 2010, led by new launches from Ford, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

The all-new Honda Accord Crosstour and the redesigned Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus and Lexus GX 460 each rank highest in initial quality in their respective segments. The Ford Fusion, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Sedan and Porsche Panamera also launch with notably high initial quality levels.

Historically, newly launched models have incurred substantially more quality problems than carryover models, on average. However, more than one-half of all models launched during the 2010 model year perform better than their respective segment averages. Furthermore, 12 all-new and redesigned models rank within the top three in their respective segments. Meanwhile, initial quality of carryover and freshened models has declined for the 2010 model year.

"With automakers committing huge budgets for the design, engineering, production and marketing of all-new models and major redesigns, hitting the quality mark out of the gate is critical," said Sargent. "Getting initial quality right on model launches can serve dual purposes for automakers—boosting profitability and also inspiring consumer confidence in the overall quality of their models. Having a strong quality image is essential for automakers to be able to compete in today's market—both in the U.S. and around the globe."

The Initial Quality Study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. The study is used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and build better vehicles and by consumers to help them in their vehicle purchase decisions. Initial quality has been shown over the years to be an excellent predictor of long-term vehicle durability, which directly impacts consumer purchase decisions. The study captures problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories—design-related problems and defects and malfunctions.

2010 U.S. IQS Ranking Highlights

Porsche leads the overall nameplate rankings, averaging 83 PP100. Following in the rankings are, respectively, Acura (which moves from 14th rank position in 2009 to second in 2010), Mercedes-Benz (which improves from sixth rank position in 2009 to third in 2010), Lexus and Ford (which moves into the top five for the first time since the inception of the study). MINI posts the largest improvement in 2010, reducing problems by 32 PP100 from 2009.

Toyota's problem count increases by 16 PP100, moving it from sixth rank position in 2009 to 21st in 2010.

"Clearly, Toyota has endured a difficult year," said Sargent. "Recent consumer concerns regarding Toyota's quality are reflected in the nameplate's performance in the 2010 study. That said, Toyota's success was built on a well-deserved reputation for quality, and there is little doubt that they will do everything possible to regain that reputation."

Ford and Lexus each garner three segment awards. Ford captures awards for the Focus, Mustang and Taurus, while Lexus receives awards for the GS, GX and LS models. The Lexus LS has the fewest quality problems in the industry, with just 55 PP100.

Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota receive two awards each. Chevrolet models earning awards are the Avalanche (in a tie) and the Tahoe. Honda receives awards for the Accord and the Accord Crosstour, while Toyota receives awards for the FJ Cruiser and Sienna.

Also receiving segment awards are: Acura RDX, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra LD (in a tie), Hyundai Accent, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Nissan Frontier, Scion xB and Volvo C70.

The 2010 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 82,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2010 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 228-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate identification of problems and to drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and May 2010. Visit the J.D. Power Business Center for additional information on J.D. Power's automotive research.

2010 Nameplate IQS Ranking

Problems per 100 Vehicles


Porsche

83

Acura

86

Mercedes-Benz

87

Lexus

88

Ford

93

Honda

95

Hyundai

102

Lincoln

106

Infiniti

107

Volvo

109

Industry Average

109

Ram

110

Audi

111

Cadillac

111

Chevrolet

111

Nissan

111

BMW

113

Mercury

113

Buick

114

Mazda

114

Scion

114

Toyota

117

Subaru

121

Chrysler

122

Suzuki

122

GMC

126

Kia

126

Jeep

129

Dodge

130

Jaguar

130

MINI

133

Volkswagen

135

Mitsubishi

146

Land Rover

170



Top Three Models per Segment

Car Segments


Sub-Compact Car

Highest Ranked: Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

Honda Fit


Compact Car

Highest Ranked: Ford Focus

Honda Civic

Hyundai Elantra


Compact Sporty Car*

Highest Ranked: Mazda MX-5 Miata

Scion tC


Compact Premium Sporty Car*

Highest Ranked: Volvo C70

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe


Entry Premium Car

Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Acura TL

Cadillac CTS


Midsize Premium Car

Highest Ranked: Lexus GS

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan

Volvo S80


Midsize Sporty Car*

Highest Ranked: Ford Mustang

Dodge Challenger


Large Premium Car

Highest Ranked: Lexus LS 460

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Porsche Panamera



Midsize Car

Highest Ranked: Honda Accord

Ford Fusion

Chevrolet Malibu


Large Car

Highest Ranked: Ford Taurus

Buick Lucerne

Nissan Maxima



NOTE: For a segment award to be issued, there must be at least three models with sufficient sample that comprise 80 percent of market sales within an award segment.  There were only two premium sporty models and no large van models with sufficient sample size, thus no premium sporty or large van awards have been issued.  

*No other model in this segment performs above the segment average.

Top Three Models per Segment

Truck/Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) Segments


Compact Crossover/SUV

Highest Ranked: Toyota FJ Cruiser

Honda CR-V

Honda Element


Compact MPV

Highest Ranked: Scion xB

Chrysler PT Cruiser Wagon

Nissan Cube


Entry Premium Crossover/SUV

Highest Ranked: Acura RDX

BMW X3

Volvo XC60


Midsize Crossover/SUV

Highest Ranked: Honda Accord Crosstour

Honda Pilot

Ford Edge


Large Crossover/SUV

Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Suburban

GMC Yukon


Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV

Highest Ranked: Lexus GX 460

Infiniti FX-Series

Volvo XC70


Large Premium Crossover/SUV

Highest Ranked: Cadillac Escalade

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Infiniti QX56 (tie)

Land Rover Range Rover (tie)


Large Pickup

Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Avalanche (tie), GMC Sierra LD (tie)

Ford F-150 LD


Midsize Pickup

Highest Ranked: Nissan Frontier

Ford Ranger

Ford Explorer Sport Trac


Minivan

Highest Ranked: Toyota Sienna

Kia Sedona

Dodge Grand Caravan



NOTE: For a segment award to be issued, there must be at least three models with sufficient sample that comprise 80 percent of market sales within an award segment.  There were only two premium sporty models and no large van models with sufficient sample size, thus no premium sporty or large van awards have been issued.

    
    
    2010 Assembly Plant Quality Award Recipients
    Based on Models Produced for U.S. Market
    
    Award                                  PP100        Model(s) Produced 
                                         (defects/          at Plant
                                        malfunctions 
                                           only)
    
    Platinum Award
    Daimler, East London, South Africa      28          Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    
    North/South America
    -------------------
    Gold Award
    Toyota Motor Company, Cambridge         30          Lexus RX
     South, Ontario (TMMC)                              
    
    Silver Award
    Ford Motor Company,                     33          Ford Fusion, Lincoln
     Hermosillo, Mexico                                  MKZ and Mercury Milan
    
    Bronze Award
    General Motors Corporation,             37          Cadillac CTS and STS
     Lansing, MI (Grand River) 
    
    Asia Pacific
    ------------
    Gold Award
    Toyota Motor Corporation,               32          Lexus ES, IS and RX
     Kyushu 2, Japan (TMK)                      
    
    Silver Award
    Toyota Motor Corporation,               33          Lexus GS, IS and LS
     Tahara 3, Japan   
                             
    Bronze Award
    Kia Motors Corporation, 
    Kwangju Plant 2, South Korea            35          Kia Sportage
                               
    Europe and Africa
    -----------------
    Silver Award
    Porsche, Stuttgart, Germany             32          Porsche 911 and  
                                                         Boxster
    Bronze Award
    Daimler, Sindelfingen, Germany           3          Mercedes-Benz 
                                                         CL-Class; CLS-Class;
                                                         E-Class Sedan;
                                                         and S-Class

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

(1) Of the units sold in the United States of this model, a portion are produced in Canada.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; Troy, Mich.; (248) 312-4119; media.relations@jdpa.com

Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate.

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates



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