The Hyundai-Kia group dominated this year’s J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study, after leading the auto industry in the United States in five segments. The leader last year, General Motors, led in six segments but fell to third place overall. Its wins include the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Silverado HD, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Terrain and GMC Yukon.
While the Hyundai and Kia marques ranked fourth and sixth among brands, respectively, the group as a whole was able to surpass Toyota Motor Corp., which score was affected by its Scion brand. The Hyundai brand hiked its score by 12 points, while Kia was still 106.
Grabbing the wins for the Hyundai group were the Hyundai Accent, Elantra and Genesis as well as the Kia Cadenza and Sportage. The Ford brand was able to recover promptly to match the industry average.
New-vehicle launches typically drag scores as consumers get used to new technologies, but Kia managed to avert that with the Cadenza. On the other hand, GMC was hit by that with its redesigned Sierra, which failed to barge into the J.D. Power’s top three pickups this year.
David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, told Automotive News in an interview, that the Cadenza had been in Korea for several years, which means its launch in the US was not a launch of “a brand-new, never-been-seen-before vehicle.”
He noted that some imported cars can have a head start if they are launched first in their local market. The survey provides scores according to the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles -- lower scores means higher quality.
The 2014 Initial Quality Study covered feedback from over 86,000 buyers and lessees of new MY2014 vehicles after 90 days of ownership -- conducted from February to May 2014. Leading all the brands is Porsche, posting 74 problems per 100 vehicles, followed by Jaguar (with 87 problems). Completing the top five were Lexus (92), Hyundai (94) and Toyota (105).