In a surprise for all US car owners, buyers, and lovers, the South Korean car brand KIA claimed the top rank in the annual study of J.D. Power consultancy.
The study, which is closely watched by many people in the US and even worldwide, gave KIA the first place exceeding many other American and non-American premium brands.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s the first year for a non-premium car brand to claim the first place in J.D. Power study.
Initial Quality Study
J.D. Power survey (J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Survey) questioned more than 80,000 car buyers around the US.
The study now, for the first time since its start 30 years ago, examines the problems experienced by the car owners during the first 90 days.
The study determines the rating by examining 100 cars of the same model, the brand with the lower problems has the higher quality.
The study comprises 8 main problem categories which are: Exterior, features, driving experience, audio and entertainment, seats, interior, air conditioning, and engine.
Among all other car brands, KIA cars showed the least problems in the first 90 days with an overall score of 83 problems. This is 22 points higher than average and 3 points better last year’s score.
KIA brand has been able in the last six years to improve its ranking from below average to the top.
The South Korean car brand made its way from the 36th place in 1999 to the first place in 2016 creating a marvelous track record.
Craftsmanship and continuous improvements
KIA’s executives in the US expressed their extreme happiness with recently-showed results.
Michael Sprague, the chief operating officer of KIA America, said that ranking number one is the result of KIA’s focus on craftsmanship and making continuous improvements on its production lines during the last decade.
Porsche came in the second place recording 84 problems per 100 cars, followed by Hyundai (KIA’s affiliate), Toyota, BMW, and Chevrolet.
The worst performers for this year were Daimler’s Smart, Fiat, Volvo, Land Rover, and Mini.
33 car brands were included in the study, 21 brands improved compared to last year including KIA which came in the second place in 2015.
Not only that, but also two car models from KIA were described as “the best car model” in two different segments.
KIA Soul was announced as the best compact multi-purpose vehicle for the second consecutive year. The vehicle scored 72 problems per 100 vehicles, it signaled the fewest design-related and malfunction problems.
KIA Sportage had the top rank in the small SUV segment. It scored 85 problems only per 100 vehicles outperforming the average by 33 points, followed by Hyundai Tucson which scored 93 points and Buick Encore with 95 points.
The car had the fewest design-related problems in its segment and received the award for the third time in the last four years.
Moreover, KIA cars claimed good positions in many other segments such as small car, compact car, and midsize SUV.