Kia Tops J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study

Kia Tops J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study


Kia’s current perception among consumers could become a thing of the past after a major victory. J.D. Power released its Initial Quality Study results this week. Kia managed to do what only one other non-premium brand has done in the study’s 30 years; land the number one spot. The last brand to reach this was Toyota in 1989.

The study on new model reliability was based on more than 80,000 responses.  It looks at problems new owners have in the first 90 days with their 2016 model-year vehicles. J.D. Power conducted the survey between February and May.

The South Korean manufacturer had 83 problems reported per 100 vehicles. Porsche came in a close second with 84 problems. It had been ranked first in the previous three years. Hyundai, Kia’s sister brand, finished third overall with 92. J.D. Power says vehicles with the fewest problems tend to have owners who are most likely to buy that brand again.

Michael Sprague, chief operating officer for Kia Motors America, said the brand’s number one ranking is, “the result of Kia’s decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement, and reflects the voice of our customers, which is the ultimate affirmation.”

This was the second year in a row that the non-premium brands were led by Kia: The automaker reported 86 problems in 2015, landing it in second place. Kia wasn’t the only brand showing improvement. Jeep and Chrysler  brands showed the strongest improvement, each improving by 28 points.

Overall, new-vehicle quality improved at its sharpest pace since 2009, J.D. Power said. Scores rose among 21 of the 33 brands studied. “Tracking our data over the past several years, it has become clear that automakers are listening to the customer, identifying pain points and are focused on continuous improvement,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power “Even as they add more content, including advanced technologies that have had a reputation for causing problems, overall quality continues to improve.”

You can find all of the brand rankings on J.D. Power’s website.  As always, #1 Cochran has you covered with any Kia-related questions. Feel free to call or stop by our showroom in Robinson.

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