June 30, 2005

J.D. Power names two Canadian-built vehicles best in long-term quality

Toronto, Ontario – Two vehicles assembled at Canadian automobile plants have captured awards for long-term vehicle quality and dependability, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) released yesterday.

General Motors’ Oshawa, Ontario #2 Plant assembles the Buick Century, which earned the VDS award for premium midsize car. The Ford Motor Company’s assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario builds the Ford Windstar, which earned the VDS award for midsize van.

In May 2005, GM’s Oshawa #2 plant earned the award for best initial plant quality in North and South America in the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Initial Quality Study, an award it also won in 2002.

The Vehicle Dependability Study measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2002 model year) vehicles. For consumers, the VDS offers insight into the reliability and dependability of brands and specific models as they approach the end of a typical warranty period; manufacturers use the information to track the quality performance of their models over time, to implement product improvement plans.

According to the 2005 VDS, the automotive industry as a whole recorded an impressive 12 per cent improvement in long-term vehicle quality. The categories showing the most significant improvements in 2005 include ride, handling, braking, engine and interior. Lexus, which ranks highest in vehicle dependability for the 11th consecutive year, improved 14 per cent over 2004. Porsche made the largest percentage improvement in its VDS score, with 38 per cent, while Hyundai experienced the largest reduction in problems reported by owners with a 31 per cent improvement. General Motors models earned eight segment awards and Ford Motor Company received five, a record for both companies in VDS. Toyota Motor Corporation received four awards.

The first three vehicles in each segment are listed below (note that some models may not be available in Canada):

  • Compact Car: Chevrolet Prizm, Toyota Echo, Toyota Prius

  • Entry Midsize Car: Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Alero, Hyundai Sonata
  • Premium Midsize Car: Buick Century, Buick Regal, Toyota Avalon
  • Full-Size Car: Buick LeSabre, Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis
  • Entry Luxury Car: Ford Thunderbird, Lincoln LS, Infiniti I35
  • Mid-Luxury Car: Lincoln Town Car, Lexus GS300/GS430, Buick Park Avenue
  • Premium Luxury Car: Lexus LS 430, Lexus SC 430, Cadillac Eldorado
  • Sporty Car: Mazda Miata, Chevrolet Camaro, Toyota MR2 Spyder
  • Premium Sports Car: Porsche 911, Honda S2000, Chevrolet Corvette
  • Midsize Pickup: Chevrolet S-10, GMC Sonoma, Toyota Tacoma
  • Light-Duty Full-Size Pickup: Cadillac Escalade EXT, Ford F150, Toyota Tundra
  • Heavy-Duty Full-Size Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD, Ford F250/F350, GMC Sierra HD
  • Entry SUV: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Jeep Liberty
  • Midsize SUV: Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer
  • Full-Size SUV: GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia (tie)
  • Entry Luxury SUV: Lexus RX 300, Acura MDX, Infiniti QX4
  • Premium Luxury SUV: Lexus LX 470, Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator (tie)
  • Midsize Van: Ford Windstar, Toyota Sienna, Mercury Villager
  • Full-Size Van: Ford E-Series, Chevrolet Express, Dodge Ram Van

The entire survey can be viewed at www.jdpower.com.

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