November 30, 2006

Honda and Toyota score highest in South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa – Honda and Toyota rank highest in initial quality among consumers in South Africa, according to a report issued by J.D. Power and Associates. The two companies took a combined total of six quality awards in the study.

The study examined 228 individual problem symptoms across nine categories. All problems are identified as the number reported per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower scores indicating fewer problems. To facilitate a deeper analysis, the symptoms have been further classified into defects and malfunctions, and design-related problems. Companies with the fewest defects/malfunctions include Audi, BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru, while those with the fewest design-related problems include Audi, Daihatsu, Honda, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo.

“To satisfy owners and fully understand consumer perceptions of quality, manufacturers must consider both dimensions of vehicle quality,” says Brian Walters, senior director of J.D. Power and Associates Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. “For instance, BMW models, along with those from Honda and Mercedes-Benz, have among the fewest defects/malfunctions. Yet, BMW’s approach to features/controls/displays often creates some problems for customers, which ultimately contributes to more overall design-related anomalies when compared with Honda and Mercedes-Benz.”

With 150 PP100 in combined defects/malfunctions and design-related problems, Honda retains its position as the highest-ranking passenger vehicle nameplate, followed by BMW (154), Mercedes-Benz (157), Subaru (166), and Audi (169). The remainder of the top ten were Hyundai, Toyota, Kia, Chevrolet and Daihatsu. Toyota is the highest-ranked pickup at 202 PP100, followed by Isuzu with 267.

Registering fewer problems than any other model in the industry, Toyota’s RAV4 is one of four Toyota models to receive Initial Quality awards, along with the Tazz upper compact car, Hilux Single Cab pickup, and Hilux Double Cab pickup. The Honda Civic ranks highest in the upper small car segment, while its Jazz leads the lower small car segment. Other leaders in their respective segments are the Hyundai Atoz (lower compact car), Volkswagen Touran (compact MPV0, Opsel Corsa Utility (compact pickup) and BMW 3 Series (medium car).

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