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GM Improves Rank in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

2013 Porsche Boxster S
The Porsche Boxster is J.D. Power's highest-ranked compact premium sporty car. (Porsche Cars North America, Inc.)

If you’re in the market for a new Porsche, GMC, Lexus, Infiniti or Chevrolet vehicle, you should be happy with your purchase, as these brands topped J.D. Power & Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study. The study is based on a survey of more than 83,000 owners of new 2013 vehicles after 90 days of ownership.

Last year, Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche, Cadillac and Honda took the top five spots, in that order, and Smart, FIAT, Mini, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi scored the lowest. For 2013, the bottom five brands, in order from lowest score, are Scion, FIAT, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Mini.

J.D. Power says it revamped the study for 2013 and asked for more feedback from survey respondents regarding problems they may have experienced with their new car. “The study has been enhanced to better measure the quality of today's vehicles, particularly problems related to new technologies and features now being offered.”

J.D. Power notes that many of the problems that owners reported in the first 90 days are with the car’s design, and not a problem with how the car was built. “Automakers are investing billions of dollars into designing and building vehicles and adding technologies that consumers desire and demand, but the risk is that the vehicle design, or the technology within the vehicle, in some cases may not meet customer needs,” David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, says in a statement. “Keep in mind that automakers are trying to design vehicles that appeal to a broad array of consumers, and what works for the majority may not work for all. The successful companies will be those automakers that find a way to give customers the technology they want while at the same time making it sufficiently intuitive so all customers find it easy to use.”

2013 J.D. Power IQS

General Motors’ GMC and Chevrolet brands made the top five this year, and The Detroit News reports that the automaker “topped all automakers in this year’s J.D. Power & Associates Initial Quality Study for the first time in the 27-year history of the influential consumer survey. The Detroit automaker even outranked perennial leaders Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.” J.D. Power ranks the top three vehicles per segment, and GM has five cars out of 33 total winners, and 10 SUVs and trucks out of 28 winners.

Michelle Krebs, Edmunds senior analyst, says, “Clearly, General Motors had a really good performance in the study which should help give them some momentum as they introduce a slew of new products, including 2014 Chevrolet Silverado.”

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