According to Wednesday’s J.D. Power and Associates survey, the auto industry’s cars, launched in 2009 when the industry hit its a 28-year sales low because of the recession, saw a 5 % improvement in automobile quality, dropping to 126 problems per every 100 autos from 132 in 2012. With Lexus in the lead with a score of 71 per 100 automobiles.
David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, said in a statement that the unending improvement in vehicle dependability long-term means auto buyers should have increased confidence in their three-year-old vehicles, if they keep them, or choose to buy a new one.
Automotive dependability is crucial to automobile manufacturers because less problems means increased loyal customers. J.D. Power said that 54% of vehicle owners who currently don’t have any issues with their autos buy the same vehicle brand the next time they purchase one. This rate in loyalty drops to 41% when they experience three or more problems.
Behind Lexus – which won for second year consecutively – were Porche, Ford’s luxury Lincoln, and Toyota (tied), Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, and GM’s Buick.
In 2011 Lincoln ranked first.
Finishing off the top 10 auto manufacturers were Honda Motor Co’s luxury Acura brands, Chrysler’s Ram pickup truck and Suzuki (tied). Mazda and GM’s Chevrolet brand scored lower than the industry average.
The vehicles in the bottom five were Volkswagen, Chrysler’s Jeep brand and Mitsubishi (tied), Chrysler’s Dodge and Tata Motors Ltd.’s Land Rover.
The Lexus RX scored the highest for dependability with only 57 issues per 100 vehicles. Chrysler’s Ram scored the highest improvement, cutting its issues by 52.