If there's one name synonymous with auto quality, it's Porsche. The iconic German band has just reinforced this belief by scooping up the title for the topmost quality brand in one of the most respected industry surveys, making the victory a hattrick of wins.
Porsche, the maker of the 911 sports car, had 87 problems per 100 new vehicles in the JD Power & Associates survey, followed by Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti luxury brand at 98 and Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus with 99. While the 911 retained its top spot from last year, the runner-up Infiniti managed to climb to its present position from ninth earlier.
As for multiple winners, Honda ruled the roost. The Japanese automaker had winners in three categories, more than any other brand, with its Fit, Civic and CR-V getting top honours in the subcompact, compact and compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) categories respectively. However, the brand ranked seventh overall with an average of 110 problems per 100 vehicles sold.
In the mass brands, Toyota scored the highest with its vehicles notching up a respectable score of 104 problems per 100 vehicles sold. In fact, it tied with luxury car maker Daimler AG's iconic Mercedes Benz brand for the fourth position on the list.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Chrysler's iconic Jeep brand was the worst performer, with a whopping 167 problems per 100 vehicles sold. It was followed by the Mini.
The Mercedes-BenzCLK-Class was the highest-ranked compact premium sporty car, while the Infiniti EX-Series was the highest-ranked entry premium vehicle.
The Lexus LS was the highest-ranked large premium car, while the Chevrolet Malibu was the highest-ranked midsize car. The Pontiac Grand Prix honors as the highest-ranked large car.
The industry average fell to 118 problems per 100 vehicles from 125 per 100 last year and 124 in 2006, reflecting better design and manufacturing among 2008 models, JD Power said. The 12 highest-rated vehicles were equally balanced among Asian, U.S. and European automakers, underscoring progress by Ford and GM in reducing flaws in the first 90 days of ownership.
David Sargent, vice president of JD Power, commended the auto industry for "a continued reduction in the level of defects and malfunctions" in vehicles. Overall quality improved by 6 per cent in 2008 compared with 2007.
The Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Sindelfingen, Germany, won the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing the vehicles with the fewest defects and malfunctions. The plant builds the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, CLS-Class, E-Class sedan and wagon and S-Class.
Automakers often use the survey, which measures quality over a 90-day period, in advertisements to boost consumer confidence in their products. The survey was based on responses from more than 81,500 purchasers or lessees of 2008 model-year cars, and took place from February to April.
Porsche SE, or just Porsche, is a German manufacturer of automobiles majority owned by the Porsche and Piëch families. Porsche SE holds two chief assets, the first of which is Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, often shortened to Porsche AG, manufacturer of the Porsche automobile line. The second asset is a large stake in Volkswagen AG.
It was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, an Austro-Hungarian engineer, born in Maffersdorf, Austria-Hungary (today Vratislavice, Czech Republic) who also designed the first Volkswagen. The company is headquartered in Zuffenhausen, a city district of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. They currently produce 911 (997), Boxster, and Cayman sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles.
JD Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm founded in 1968 by James David Power III. The firm conducts surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality, and buyer behavior for industries ranging from cars to restaurants. The firm is best known for its customer satisfaction research on new-car quality and long-term dependability.
Its service offerings include industry-wide syndicated studies, proprietary research, consulting, training, and automotive forecasting. It was ISO 9001 certified in 2002.The company is a business unit of the Information and Media Group of McGraw-Hill, who purchased it from James David Power III in 2005.
The following shows the top 10 brands and a comparison of their 2007 performances:
|2008 Rank ||Brand ||Complaints Per 100 Vehicles ||2007 Rank|
|1 ||Porsche ||87 ||1|
|2 ||Infiniti ||98 ||9|
|3 ||Lexus ||99 ||2|
|4* ||Mercedes ||104 ||5|
| ||Toyota ||104 ||6|
|6 ||Mercury ||109 ||8|
|7 ||Honda ||110 ||4|
|8* ||Ford ||112 ||10|
| ||Jaguar ||_ ||6|
|10 ||Audi ||113 ||26|
|* ||Cadillac ||_ ||25|
|* ||Chevrolet ||_ ||15|
|*tie || || |
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