Friday, June 23, 2017

Kia Tops 2017 JD Power Initial Quality Ratings, Tesla Opts Out

After tabulating responses from more than 80,000 new car buyers, JD Power has announced the winners of its 2017 Initial Quality awards. For the second year in a row, Kia came out on top of all the manufacturers who sell cars in the US market. Kia’s corporate cousin, Genesis, came in second. Surprisingly, Hyundai, the parent company of both Kia and Genesis finished down in 8th place. JD Power Initial quality 2017 Kia

“Our back-to-back chart-topping … performances reconfirm Kia’s status as today’s world-class automaker and reflect the exacting standards and craftsmanship our team members instill into every car, crossover and SUV Kia builds,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer of Kia Motors America.
When Kia first entered the American market 20 years ago, the quality of its cars was abysmal, but the company dedicated itself to making improvements and that effort has paid off for the company. Consumers place a lot of weight on such surveys and the recent high ratings have helped boost sales in the US. GM. Ford, and Chrysler all saw their ratings in the initial quality survey improve as well.
JD Power says, “An increasing number of consumer-reported problems sounds warning bells for automakers and suppliers,” the study said. Customers complain frequently about voice recognition systems that don’t actually recognize voices and Bluetooth connectivity that fails. Collision avoidance and lane departure systems also come in for a fair amount of criticism. Years ago, people used to complain about leaky sunroofs or trim pieces falling off. Now, dissatisfaction with elements of the digital world head the list of annoyances. Overall, initial quality numbers rose 8% over last year for the industry as a whole.
“The Initial Quality Study continues to demonstrate the critical importance of automakers responding to consumer feedback regarding vehicle quality,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “Any automaker that stands still will quickly start to fall behind. For consumers, the great news is that significant improvements are occurring in all model segments, meaning that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality vehicle.”

Where Are The Numbers For Tesla?

Missing from the survey numbers is any information about Tesla. That’s because Tesla declines to share data with JD Power. According to Automotive News, California law allows manufacturers to opt in or opt out of such sharing. Tesla has chosen to opt out, the only company to do so. “I don’t know that they’re hiding anything. They just don’t want to participate,” says Dave Sargent. “They don’t want to play this game. We’re hoping they will come to the party because we’re increasingly getting this question.”
This spring, JD Power did a special report entitled “Tesla: Beyond the Hype.” Based on extensive personal interviews with Tesla owners, JD Power researchers found that owners had many areas of concern but those issues did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm for their cars. They love them anyway, regardless of any faults.
Source: USA Today

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