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Power to the People

Quality guru J.David Power inducted into Automotive Hall of Fame.

by on Jul.25, 2014

Dave Power, founder of J.D. Power and Associates, was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

He isn’t your typical car guy, fixated on fast cars and powerful engines. But while his game is all about numbers, he isn’t exactly a bean-counter, either. J. David Power III has carved out a unique and, appropriately, powerful position in the automotive industry. And that’s something car buyers around the world should be grateful for.

The 83-year-old former newsboy is the founder of J.D. Power and Associates (JDPA), the California-based arbiter of quality in the automotive industry – and, increasingly, a variety of other industries from airlines to telecomm. With its public studies and private research, JDPA has become a critical link between consumers and manufacturers and, according to many in the car business, can claim a major share of the credit for the dramatic improvement in automotive quality and reliability over the past four decades.

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“He gives people their voice in the marketplace,” said Bud Liebler, a former Chrysler marketing vice president, who was on hand to honor Dave Power during his induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame on Thursday night. (more…)

Auto Quality Problems on the Rise, According to Latest J.D. Power IQS

High-tech problems worsen – but weather also created headaches.

by on Jun.18, 2014

Cars like the Porsche Panamera helped position the German maker as the top brand in the 2014 IQS.

While they’re not necessarily connected, the sudden surge in recalls this year comes at the same time the overall quality of new cars, trucks and crossovers has shown an unexpected decline, according to the latest, widely followed J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

Automakers seem to be having a lot of trouble getting all-new vehicles into production without launch problems, noted the 2014 IQS. Some of the biggest headaches are the result of the latest high-tech gadgetry that has becoming a must on today’s new vehicles. But the report also suggests that the harsh weather that has plagued much of the country over the last year has contributed to some of the problems, especially when it comes to engine and climate control systems.

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“Automakers are trying to give consumers the new features and technology they want without introducing additional quality problems into their vehicles,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “However, almost all automakers are struggling to do this flawlessly with some consumers indicating that the technology is hard to understand, difficult to use, or simply does not always work as designed.”

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Quality Makes Big Gains, Says JD Power, But Tech Headaches Worsen

High-tech issues now the most serious issue for most manufacturers.

by on Jun.20, 2012

The newly redesigned Porsche 911 posted the best score in the history of the IQS.

Forget the flats, the rattles and wind noise, even the balky transmissions.  These days, the biggest headache for a new car buyer is likely to be the voice controlled infotainment system.

The good news is that the latest crop of new cars, trucks and crossovers are “better than ever,” according to the 2012 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.  But while manufacturers have largely overcome the defects and malfunctions that traditionally plagued buyers, motorists are experiencing more issues with the latest in-car technologies, such as voice-controlled navigation and Bluetooth hands-free phones.

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The annual IQS asks owners to report on both defects and design-related issues during the first months after they’ve driven their new products home.  On average, the 2012 study found an average 102 “problems” for every 100 new vehicles.  That’s down from 107 “PP100” in 2011, to use Power-speak.

“This is, without doubt, the best level of quality we’ve ever seen,” noted Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates, or JDPA.

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Detroit Taking Quality Lead, Reports JD Power

"This year may mark a key turning point."

by on Jun.17, 2010

The solid performance of new models like the 2010 Mustang and Focus helped Ford earn the rank of top mainstream brand in the 2010 J.D. Power IQS.

For the first time in its history, the influential J.D. Power Initial Quality Study shows that domestic auto brands have, overall, pushed past their import rivals.

Detroit makers, on the whole, showed substantial improvement in the 2010 IQS, which measured out-of-the-factory quality for the latest crop of cars, trucks and crossovers.  Ford, in particular, dominates the latest study, and nudges aside such stalwarts as Honda and Toyota to rank as the highest-quality mainstream brand.

The results reflect the impact of recent events, including Toyota’s safety-related recalls.  But the findings also come in sharp contrast to public perception in the wake of last year’s bankruptcies by two of Detroit’s Big Three, Power officials note.

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“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,” suggests David Sargent, Power’s vice president of global vehicle research.

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