General Motors has topped the latest J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study, an annual survey that measures new-vehicle quality that is now on its 27th year. GM is the only carmaker that has less than one problem per car, as its all four brands averaged 98 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed. The US carmaker is followed by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., both tied at second.
Each of the Japanese carmakers has 103 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed. GM has two brands -- GMC and Chevrolet -- barging into the top five of the latest J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study. Topping all brands is Porsche, followed by GMC, Lexus, Infiniti and Chevrolet. Among vehicles themselves, the Lexus LS sedan that was redesigned for 2013, considered as the most trouble-free vehicle with 59 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed.
David Sargent, vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and author of the study, remarked that GM has the best quality of any carmaker in the survey, noting that it is the first time the US firm made it to the top. He also noted that GMC and Chevrolet have never finished in the top five before. Settling at the bottom of the survey are Scion and Mitsubishi.
Ford, on the other hand, continued to rank unfavorably in the survey, no thanks to its electronic features. Nearly two of three problems reported on 2013 models were linked to design rather than manufacturing defects.
These are things drivers typically consider not broken but difficult to understand or operate, Power said. Sargent noted that carmakers have become really good in building high-quality products. Power released the results of the survey at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit. The survey measures the number of problems on 2013 models that buyers report after 90 days of ownership.
GM experienced a 14-percent drop in net profit in the first quarter of 2013 to $865 million, no thanks to a decline in earnings in North America amid a slash in losses in Europe losses dropped. From January to March, GM was profitable – its 13th consecutive month of earning a profit after exiting from a government-led bankruptcy in the middle of 2009.
These figures are inclusive of one-time costs that removed $170 million from the net profit of the carmaker. The earnings before interest and taxes and with the exclusion of one-time items dropped decreased by 19 percent to $1.76 billion. Its pretax profit in North America plummeted by 14 percent to $1.41 billion. [source: GM]