Weekly News Roundup
US automakers get ready to play let’s make a deal, Ford’s Fields says, hey – wait just a minute, and hybrid sales get unique boost
Let’s Make a Deal…for Hyundai Quality
If US automakers only had Hyundai to kick around, like in the good old days. Those days are long gone, however, and Hyundai just notched another award for quality, from J.D. Power and Associates. It’s annual Initial Quality Study, or IQS, had Hyundai beating even Toyota as the top non-luxury nameplate, though Toyota remained the dominant force in overall model quality. In the survey, J.D. Power expanded its definition of quality to include build issues and, for the first time, design elements, such as where turn signals are located, and a vehicle’s overall ease of use. Based on the revised criteria, top-scoring automotive nameplates were Porsche, Lexus, Hyundai, Toyota, Jaguar and Honda. Lowest ranked nameplates included Saab, Suzuki, Hummer, Volkswagen, Isuzu, and Land Rover. Quality scores are based on reported problems per 100 vehicles, with the top overall nameplate, Porsche, scoring 91 problems out of 100, and the lowest scoring nameplate, Land Rover, registering 204 problems per 100 vehicles. Hyundai’s success was fueled in part by the Tucson SUV, a top-three placement for the Sonata sedan and the all-new Azera luxury sedan. Toyota, however, led the way in total top three finishes with five for the Toyota brand -- including the Camry -- and six for luxury nameplate Lexus. Honda also fared well, with five models ranked in the top three of their segments.