Hyundai top for mainstream brands in quality
15 June 2006
Hyundai claims top spot for mainstream brands in quality
Hyundai continues to match its march in global sales growth with more accolades from car owners for quality and design.
The giant Korean car maker has risen from number 11 to number three among all vehicle nameplates in the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS) for 2006. It has also taken top place in the “non-premium” name plate section.
Ranking in the top three overall plates sees Hyundai sharing prestigious and established company with German car maker Porsche taking top honours.
Long time recipient Toyota came in at number two with the Lexus brand. The top three ranking is a first for Hyundai which until five years ago languished in the bottom half of the comprehensive survey.
The company’s climb upwards in the non-premium section has been inexorable since then however, rising from third in 2005 and fourth in 2004.
The IQS is based on the responses of over 60,000 new vehicle owners questioned 90 days after purchase on their level of satisfaction in all aspects of their car purchase. Over 200 vehicle attributes are measured, encompassing the driving experience, engine, and an extensive list of defect or design problems.
The Hyundai Tucson SUV earned the company the top award for the highest quality in its segment while the widely acclaimed Sonata ranked third in the very competitive midsize car segment. The Azera, or Grandeur in New Zealand was also placed in the top three large cars.
As a brand Hyundai recorded only 102 faults per hundred vehicles, compared to Porsche’s 91 and Lexus on 92. The industry average across all brands was 124 per hundred with a surprisingly high number of “premium” name plates falling below that average.
Managing Director for Hyundai New Zealand Philip Eustace said the J.D. Power survey was the benchmark for the industry. Making the grade here was an enormous endorsement for the work Hyundai have done in recent years.
“The effort on quality and design has gone a long way to turn this brand around, and our job is to ensure more people become aware of just what an excellent package they get when they buy Hyundai.”
He said it was reassuring to see the company score highly not only on assembly quality, but also on good design, representing the whole package in vehicle ownership.
“Hyundai ranked well as one of the few brands that managed to combine the component of good build at top performing plants with features accessible and easily used by the owner.”
J.D. Powers and Associates spokesman Joe Ivers said clearing both critical quality hurdles was a feat only accomplished by a handful of brands.
Hyundai’s success in New Zealand as a reliable, well designed vehicle has been reinforced with policies such as the Family Pricing Strategy that has seen many components fall to a lower, standard price across the company’s vehicle line up.
The recent announcement of extended service intervals on diesel vehicles and “menu” based pricing for servicing has also been a first for the industry.
“Taking these initiatives shows Hyundai are delivering not only a well built vehicle, but one customers can afford to maintain and enjoy for a decent length of time,” said Mr Eustace.