J.D. Power Study Good News For Ford

Ford Motor Co. received the most model segment awards per automobile company, as well as receiving the Platinum Plant Quality Award for fewest defects.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. – J.D. Power and Associates on Wednesday released its 2007 Initial Quality Study (IQS).

The IQS measures new-vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership and covers problems experienced by owners involving quality of design and quality of production.

Some highlights of the study:

-Ford Motor Co. received five top model segment awards—more than any other automobile company this year.

-Ford’s Wixom assembly plant in Mich. received the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing vehicles yielding the fewest defects—the first time for a North American assembly plant since 1999.

-GM’s Oshawa 2 plant in Ontario received the Silver Plant Quality Award and Honda’s East Liberty, Ohio, plant took the Bronze.

-In the Asia Pacific Region, Toyota’s Kyushu, Japan, plant received the Gold Plant Quality Award and Honda’s Sayama and Suzuka, Japan, plants tied for the Bronze.

-BMW’s Regensburg, Germany, plant received the Gold Plant Quality Award for Europe. The Mercedes Benz Sindelfingen, Germany, plant took the Silver and Audi’s Neckarsulm, Germany, plant took the Bronze.

“Ideally, manufacturers should aim to achieve high initial quality when launching a new model, since this builds a strong foundation for future years and can become a differentiating factor relative to the competition,” said Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis at J.D. Power and Associates. “One year after launch, initial quality begins to improve by an average of 7 problems per 100 vehicles. If a model launches with lower initial quality, it is more difficult for the manufacturer to keep pace with the competition over time.”

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