American Marketer


Today’s new vehicles are of higher quality than ever before: J.D. Power

June 26, 2017

Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series Coupe. Image courtesy of Porsche


A new report from J.D. Power shows that there is still room for improvement despite automotive technology’s substantial growth in recent years.

New vehicle quality is at an all-time high, according to research in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study, but problems are still occurring for owners when it comes to technology. The most common issues seen in new vehicles are related to audio, communication, entertainment and navigation.

"New vehicle quality continues to improve, and is now at its highest level ever – a significant 8 percent improvement from last year," said David Amodeo, senior manager of Global Automotive at J.D. Power.

J.D. Power looks at the number of problems per 100 vehicles experienced within the first 90 days of ownership for its study.

Automotive advancement
While technology is the most problematic area in terms of issues with new vehicles, the sector is seeing steady improvement. Since 2016, the category saw a decrease of 2.7 PP100, or problems per 100 vehicles.

Since there is a much greater variety of technology offerings available now, there is a more likely chance for issues.

Jaguar's in-dashboard shell app, appealing to millennials through technology

Autonomous driving is becoming more prevalent in the automotive world, but this is still in its early phase with many problems arising. There has been an increase in issues with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, collision avoidance and alert systems and blind spot warning.

These issues pose a problem for automakers who are currently attempting to ease consumers’ fears of driverless vehicles.

Building factory of the Lexus ES and Lexus RX, Toyota Corp.’s Kyushu 2 plant in Japan received J.D. Power's Platinum Plant Quality Award. Kyushu has produced models with the fewest malfunctions and defects.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lexus GS, Porsche 911, Porsche Macan, BMW 2 Series, BMW 4 Series and BMW X6 all ranked the highest in quality for their respective categories.

Lexus GS F

Porsche was the third highest ranked brand in terms of quality with a score of 78 PP 100, only beaten by automakers Genesis and Kia.

Within a year, 27 brands out of the 33 J.D. Power looked at for its study showed improvement in regards to quality.

Industry growth
The automotive industry as a whole is making substantial growth. For instance, the industry in the United Kingdom has hit its seventh year of consecutive growth capped off with record-breaking sales.

Last year, the auto industry in the U.K. saw a total of £77.5 billion, or $97.8 billion at current exchange rates, in turnover, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Vehicle production per employee is on the rise, but also the industry is simultaneously reducing its waste (see more).

Automotive dealerships that provide their customers with more digital, and specifically mobile, tools for scheduling and receiving service do far better with younger consumers than those that do not, according to a new study.

This information comes from J.D. Power’s 2017 United Kingdom Customer Service Index Study, which compared the performance of various car dealerships with different age groups based on the level of digital integration. What the study found was that loyalty to a dealership correlates with customer satisfaction, which in turn overwhelmingly correlates with a dealer’s ability to provide service through digital and mobile tools (see more).

"Despite ever increasing complexity, technology, and sophistication in today’s new vehicles – there is far more that could go wrong, but fewer things that actually do go wrong," Mr. Amodeo said.