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Hyundai is up, Nissan is down, and domestic brands such as Cadillac, Buick and Mercury are gaining rapidly on industry leader Lexus.

That’s the scorecard from the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Initial Quality Study, which reinforces the industry’s claims that quality is steadily improving in new cars and light trucks.

While Japanese stalwarts Toyota Motor Co.p. and Honda Motor Co. still lead the pack in terms of overall corporate quality, the gap separating them from Detroit’s Big Three is getting smaller.

“More automakers are bunched up near the top,” said Gary Cowger, president of General Motors Corp.’s North American operations. “The competition is fierce.”

The most surprising gains were made at Hyundai, which posted a 29 percent improvement over the previous year.

Owners of Hyundai models reported 102 problems per 100 cars in the first 90 days of ownership, equaling Honda’s score and just behind Toyota, with 101 problems per 100 vehicles.

“Quality is the total focus of our chairman (Mong Koo Chung), and it permeates all through the entire Hyundai organization,” said Robert Cosmai, president of Hyundai’s U.S. unit.

GM, Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG trailed the industry average of 119 problems per 100 vehicles.

But all three posted solid gains with 2004 models. GM improved 10 percent to 120 problems per 100 vehicles, DaimlerChrysler was up 12 percent to 123 problems, and Ford reported a 7 percent improvement to 127 problems.

The improvements came amid a blitz of new product launches that often can torpedo overall corporate quality levels.

“To have gone through the major launches we have and come out with statistically significant improvement actually beats the odds in the industry,” said Louis Goeser, Ford’s vice president of quality.

Several domestic brands stood out in the survey. At GM, Cadillac posted a 16 percent improvement to 93 problems per 100 vehicles, trailing only Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand.

GM’s Buick and Ford’s Mercury divisions also improved markedly, as did the German luxury nameplates Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Among individual models, Toyota and Lexus captured the top spot in seven of 18 categories, including the segment-leading Toyota Tundra full-size pickup.

Honda and its Acura division took top honors in three categories, and GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler unit each placed first in two segments.

Still the gains made by Hyundai, once the industry laggard in quality, were the most dramatic.


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Notables:

1. Buick, Cadillac above Toyota.
2. All GM brands but HUMMER above Nissan
3. Honda far above Acura?
4. Hyundai beats Toyota
5. Cadillac closes gap with Lexus - so close!
6. Saturn has perennial problems getting its score higher
7. Mercury kicks butt and takes names, again
8. Oldsmobile goes out on a good note



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
INDUSTRY AVERAGE 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
HUMMER 173
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Apr 29 2004, 12:12 PM
3. Honda far above Acura?

7. Mercury kicks butt and takes names, again
interesting stuff...

3. stuff like this baffles me. same as pontiac's low score. aren't many pontiacs built alongside comparable chev and buick models? i find it odd that there can be such significant differences within a company, especially when many of the vehicles share many components.

7. very impressive mercury score. says alot for tried, tested and true. mercury hasn't added much new over the past few years, so they've been able to hammer out the defects. the strong, silent division.
 

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Originally posted by paul8488+Apr 29 2004, 07:57 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (paul8488 @ Apr 29 2004, 07:57 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Ming@Apr 29 2004, 12:12 PM
3. Honda far above Acura?

7. Mercury kicks butt and takes names, again
interesting stuff...

3. stuff like this baffles me. same as pontiac's low score. aren't many pontiacs built alongside comparable chev and buick models? i find it odd that there can be such significant differences within a company, especially when many of the vehicles share many components.

7. very impressive mercury score. says alot for tried, tested and true. mercury hasn't added much new over the past few years, so they've been able to hammer out the defects. the strong, silent division. [/b][/quote]
The factory quality surveys seem to suggest that quality is heavily tied in to factory performance.

Take the Arlington, TX Suburbans. They have less problems per 100 vehicles than Lexus' average score. Something like 80 to Lexus' 89.

Since all Suburbans are not at 80, that means other factories aren't doing as good a job putting them together. Also, the more complicated the vehicle, even on the same platform - the more likely problems will arise. Say if a customer has problems with a navigation system on an Escalade that isn't even offered in the Suburban.

My guess is that Acuras new models and complex assortment of electronic doo-dads did them in, as opposed to the simpler Hondas.
 

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It seems like all of GM and their partners have gone up. I drive a Suzuki and their quality has gone up. GO GM!
 

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good news, just like the other thread. Very good news. I dont know what its hurting hummer, the H1 or H2? Probably the H1 becaue its not really a civilian truck, and people might have a problem with little things.
"my car shakes a lot"
"ma'am, thats the engine"
 

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Hummer's low score has little to do with the H1 since sales are so miniscule. The H2 has had MANY teething problems. On the first one I drove, the power driver's seat computer failed, leaving the seat nearly all the way back on its track. They fixed it long enough for me to readjust the seat (and then it failed again). And I only drove the vehicle for a week.
 

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also (I said it in another thread) many consumers figure the low fuel economy is a problem with the vehicle. but hudson is aware of some real problems, so perhaps the ranking is deserved.

i still have to laugh though... "oh geez... our mobile home gets 3 mpg! whatever could be wrong?" :lol:
 

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I don't think anyone who drives a HUMMER cares about reliability/quality ratings...PUH-LEASE!
 

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I betchya that if you split cars and trucks the big 3 would go even higher. People may do more and expect more out of trucks, plus as someone mentioned big trucks with big engines may have lower fuel mileage then expected, which may be a complaint....

If this was split the domestics would only rise...
That would also make Cadillac Cars #1, since GM reported that Cadillac cars did better than lexus...
 
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