South Korean manufacturer Kia has topped the JD Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS) for 2016, marking the first time in 27 years a non-premium brand has reached the number one spot.
Marketing firm JD Power conducts the every year, and this time polled more than 80,000 new vehicle owners about problems they experience with their cars and trucks during first 90 days of ownership. This year, Kia owners reported 83 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) beating out Porsche by one point (84 PP100) and its South Korean parent company, Hyundai (92 PP100), by nine points.
This year’s results indicate automakers are listening to their customers and “making some of the highest-quality products we’ve ever seen,” said Renee Stephens, JD Power’s VP of U.S. automotive quality.
Other key findings include domestic brands outranking imports, on average, by 3 PP100; non-premium brands outranked premium ones by 4 PP100, and nearly half of owners polled said that high quality is a major reason for remaining loyal to a brand.
Two Toyota-owned factories, in Georgetown, Kentucky and Kyushu, Japan, tied for the top Plant Quality Award for producing vehicles with the fewest number of defects and malfunctions, while Porsche’s Stuttgart plant was named tops in Europe and Africa.
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