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DETROIT - General Motors' Cadillac Division has re-emerged as a leader in initial vehicle quality among luxury nameplates, according to the 2004 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. In addition, the study named GM's Lansing Grand River assembly plant the high-ranking assembly plant in North and South America for initial quality. Lansing Grand River also was ranked the world's third best plant in the annual study. Overall, the world's largest automaker registered a 10 percent improvement in initial quality.
GM's Lansing Grand River, Mich. assembly plant received the prestigious Gold Plant Award, while GM's Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich. assembly plant received the Silver Plant Award, taking second place for initial quality in the Americas.

"The renaissance of Cadillac continues as it nears the top spot among luxury nameplates in initial quality. In fact, Cadillac cars have now surpassed Lexus cars in initial quality," said Gary Cowger, president of GM North America. "Customers once again expect bold design, precision craftsmanship, outstanding performance and world-class quality from Cadillac. The all-new Cadillac STS will take quality, sophisticated luxury and refinement to the next level."

Two of Cadillac's newest models, the CTS and the XLR are among the top 10 in the industry in initial quality. Five of luxury nameplate's seven models are among the top three in their respective segments.

GM's Lansing Grand River, Mich., assembly plant builds the Cadillac CTS, Cadillac SRX and this summer will begin production of the all-new Cadillac STS, a luxury performance sedan. Lansing Grand River is GM's most advanced, state-of-the-art assembly plant in the world. The plant began building vehicles in late 2001. GM's Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich., assembly plant builds the Cadillac DeVille, Buick LeSabre and Pontiac Bonneville. The two assembly plants' showcase the best of GM's manufacturing capabilities and highlight the proven effectiveness of GM's Global Manufacturing System.

In addition, GM's Buick Division also is well-positioned for a rebirth. Buick improved by 11 percent in initial quality, and three of its models, the Century, LeSabre and Regal, achieved scores lower than 100 problems per 100 vehicles in the study. The Century is among the most improved models in the industry and now ranks fourth in the industry out of all vehicles for initial quality.

The all-new 2005 Buick LaCrosse, which will go into production at GM's Oshawa #2 car assembly plant in Canada later this year, marks GM's renewed emphasis on Buick cars after the division focused its attention on creating a new market presence in trucks.

The J.D. Power and Associates study measures the number of problems consumers experience during the first 90 days of vehicle ownership. The study results also influence consumer decisions on what make and model of vehicle to buy or lease.

GM had 14 top-three performing vehicles, including two vehicles that were ranked segment leaders, the Chevrolet Suburban in the full-size SUV segment and Buick Century in the study's premium midsize car segment.

In addition, GM's second-place finishers include:

Oldsmobile Alero - Entry Midsize Car
Chevrolet Monte Carlo - Premium Midsize Car
Buick LeSabre - Fullsize Car
Cadillac DeVille - Mid Luxury Car
GMC Sierra HD - Light Duty Fullsize Pickup
Chevy Tahoe - Fullsize SUV

GM's third-place finishers include:

Chevy Malibu - Entry Midsize Car
Cadillac CTS - Entry Luxury Car
Cadillac XLR - Premium Luxury Car
Cadillac Escalade EXT - Light Duty Fullsize Pickup
Chevrolet Silverado HD - Heavy Duty Fullsize Pickup
Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV - Premium Luxury SUV

"GM's performance is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our employees, suppliers, dealers and unions. They deserve credit for this performance," said Kevin Williams, GM vice president for quality. "It takes a total commitment from everyone involved, from our design teams to the operators on the assembly line, building our great cars and trucks. But it's evident the GM team must move faster."
"This survey confirms that UAW members have stepped up and have helped make substantial improvements in GM's automotive quality," said UAW Vice President Richard Shoemaker. "With results like these, it is evident that GM products assembled by UAW members are on a level with the best that the industry has to offer."

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, employs about 325,000 people globally. Founded in 1908, GM has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 192 countries. More information on GM and its products can be found on the company's corporate website at

In 2003, GM again set industry sales records in the United States, its largest market, for total trucks and sport utility vehicles. GM became the first manufacturer to sell more than 2.8 million trucks in a calendar year and the first to sell more than 1.3 million SUVs. GM also remained the industry leader in total sales of cars and total sales of full-size pickup trucks. In 2003, GM sold nearly 8.6 million cars and trucks, about 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.

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I'm quite excited about the Power news. And I'm charged that Cadillac was #2 again, closing the distance between #1 Lexus from 27 dpf last year to only 6 this year. I wonder how GM's overall performance would have been had Hummer not been included.

I have to say that I'm disappointingly surprised in Hyundai's performance.

More specifics:

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I feel great that Cadillac and Buick are rated in the top 5, especially that Cadillac is only 6 points behind Lexus. Buick and Mercury are tied though, so I don't feel as good as I would have if Buick would have been the only one scoring 100 (exactly 1 problem per 100 vehicles.) If they keep improving like this, there is going to be a huge shakeup in the industry, and Toyota fans will have to watch out. However, I have to say this for everything: Initial Quality is all fine and good, but let's see what happens in their next study, the one that measures how car companies do after 3-4 years. (personally, let's see where Hyundai is then!)

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I applaud all domestic producers in their improving quality.

I've long contended that it was easy for the Japanese manufacturers to build high quality cars and trucks when they only had a LIMITED product line. I think what you are seeing is that when they have to field an entire line of cars in all ranges, their quality equalizes with the domestics. Certainly the domestics lapsed in quality, but Detroit has demonstrated that there is now virtually no statistical difference between a Cadillac and a Lexus with other domestic brands quickly catching up. It should also be noted that there is now greater cooperation between the unions and the companies which was lacking 20 years ago. I've also held that unions have been instrumental in either the obstruction or improvement of quality because of their antiquated labor perceptions. Hopefully we'll have an abolition of more of their work regulations and a greater team concept which has been so beneficial to other foreign companies.

It is a shame that Cadillac's design is dismal in execution. They screw them together well, but they look like crap afterwards.

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Originally posted by mbaluch8@Apr 28 2004, 06:39 PM
This is good, but what about long term reliability? Consumer reports says that the CTS has MUCH WORSE than average reliability.
Since the CTS is only in its second year of production how does Consumer Reports define "Long Term". The import bias of CR is blatant.

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I recently responded to a consumer reports survey. Although what one considers a "serious" problem is somewhat subjective, I think the results are fairly accurate. I think CR compares the performance of the CTS with other models for a similar time period (ex. Grand Am that had similar performance in first 2 years did not hold up well). Perhaps they also compare the vehicle to the performance of other vehicles during the same period, as well. Also, CR gives different weight to different problems. If someone knows specifics about their analysis I would like to know. Predicting the future in this case is based on looking at past performance, so it is not exact, but do we have a better indicator of reliability? If you think they are altering survey results (reliability data ONLY) to favor imports, I am interested in knowing on what you're basing the allegations. Regardless, the JD Power results are good news.

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Rcently I read that the toyota matrix was considered by edmunds to lead their class....I guess the pontiac vibe finished last...I have always contended that my personal experience is better than listening to the capitalist hum and bias.....the toyaota's had the major problem of sludging and if you pick up consumers it is like it never happened....

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The JDPA website is overloaded right now, but I saw the numbers from I don't see how the average can be 119 defect per car when only four companies are better than average and all the rest are below average. It's not a sales weighted or model weighted average. New math to make GM "below average"?

In any event, it's more good news for GM and Ford!

Hyundai is a bit of shock. It will be interesting if this result is repeatable.


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Originally posted by mbaluch8@Apr 29 2004, 12:39 AM
This is good, but what about long term reliability?  Consumer reports says that the CTS has MUCH WORSE than average reliability.
:eek: I haven't heard anything about reliability issues for the CTS. At least any that would ward-off purchasing one. Consumer reports you have to take with a grain a salt.

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I got this table from

2004 IQS Results:

Lexus 87
Cadillac 93
Jaguar 98
Honda 99
Buick 100
Mercury 100
Hyundai 102
Infiniti 104
Toyota 104
Mercedes-Benz 106
Audi 109
BMW 109
Oldsmobile 110
Volvo 113
Acura 117
Chevrolet 119
Chrysler 120
Dodge 121
Lincoln 121
Pontiac 122
Subaru 123
GMC 127
Ford 130
Mitsubishi 130
Saab 133
Jeep 136
MINI 142
Land Rover 148
Saturn 149
Suzuki 149
Kia 153
Nissan 154
Mazda 157
Scion 158
Porsche 159
Volkswagen 164

The average if we do it by brand is 125, so it must be some sort of sale weighted average.

Look at Scion which gets a lot of credit for having "typical Toyota" quality. Turns out they are near the bottom. Nissan and Mazdo scores are also surprisingly poor. So much for Japanese quality.

Exciting news for the domestics. Now that measureable quality is becoming less of a differenting factor, the feel and subjective qualities will be the differntiator. It looks like the domestics understand this with their newer models. Things are looking up!


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Originally posted by jesusfreakf1@Apr 29 2004, 12:03 AM
However, I have to say this for everything: Initial Quality is all fine and good, but let's see what happens in their next study, the one that measures how car companies do after 3-4 years. (personally, let's see where Hyundai is then!)
ah, hyundai earned their stripes. if we're gonna take GM's improvement as impressive, how can we discredit hyundai? they're damn cheap cars and they're (by this one, albeit subjective, measure) higher quality than toyota. i'm not the biggest fan, but if i'm gonna question hyundai's score, i'll have to question GM's. and i don't wanna... 'cause they done good! whohoo!

as for hummer, i read a while ago that many considered the poor fuel economy a quality issue! they figured there was something wrong with the engine. i believe the rough ride and road noise also factored in (i think the hummer quality score is inversely proportionate to the owners IQ... i expect the defects per car to hit 200 soon)!

so these scores aren't definite, concrete evidence... but for the most part i pay attention to them and can trust them as a comparison tool.

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Hahaha...Scion 158 and 4th from the BOTTOM? What happened Toyota fans? I'd really like to know.

And I'll bet nothing ever gets said about this in the general or even auto media.

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Originally posted by delmarjohn@Apr 28 2004, 11:08 PM
Rcently I read that the toyota matrix was considered by edmunds to lead their class....I guess the pontiac vibe finished last...I have always contended that my personal experience is better than listening to the capitalist hum and bias.....the toyaota's had the major problem of sludging and if you pick up consumers it is like it never happened....
Toyota's "sludging" problem was limited to the Camry...and I believe only one of its engines. It was also limited to a year or two back in the mid 1990s. I don't see how this is a "major problem" especially when Ford and GM and Volkswagen and (others)....have had recalls of 100s of thousands just recently.
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