May 19, 2005

Toyota and GM big winners in J.D. Power Survey

Westlake Village, California – Toyota and General Motors, the two largest automobile manufacturers in the world, captured 15 of the 18 top model segments in the 2005 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study released yesterday.

Toyota earned 10 of the top model segment awards, with the Lexus SC 430 honoured as the highest-ranking model for the second consecutive year. Other Toyota models earning segment awards included the Prius, Toyota RAV4 and Scion tC, a model unavailable in Canada.

General Motors earned five top model segment awards, including those for the Chevrolet Malibu/Malibu Maxx, Buick Century and Chevrolet Suburban.

The Ford Motor Company took two model awards, with its Explorer Sport Trac and F-150 LD ranking highest in their respective segments.

General Motors swept the North/South America plant quality awards, with its Oshawa 2 (Ontario) plant earning the Gold Plant Quality Award. The plant builds the Buick Century, Buick Allure and Pontiac Grand Prix. The Oshawa 1 plant earned silver, while the Hamtramck, Michigan plant took bronze.

For the fourth consecutive year, Toyota’s Tahara, Japan car plant received the Platinum Plant Quality Award for worldwide plant quality. The plant produces the Lexus GS300/GS430 and LS430. Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji, Japan plant and Nissan’s Tochigi, Japan plant earned the Silver and Bronze Plant Quality awards, respectively, among Asia Pacific plants.

Among European plants, Ford’s Jaguar plant in Halewood, Liverpool, U.K. received the Gold Plant Quality Award. BMW’s Regensburg, Germany plant earned silver, while its Munich plant tied with Porsche’s Stuttgart plant for bronze.

The study showed that several makes and models demonstrated marked improvements from the 2004 study. Chief among them was Hummer, with a 36 per cent reduction in reported problems. Nissan also performed dramatically better, with the Quest as the most-improved model. Other models showing notable improvements were the Kia Spectra, Hummer H2 and Scion xA, which is not available in Canada.

Overall, the automotive industry garnered only a minor increase in industry-wide initial quality in 2005.

The study is based on responses from more than 62,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2005 model-year cars and trucks, surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is now in its 19th year.

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