Buick ranks first in quality according to JD Power

The past two years have been difficult for the automotive industry. The continued impact of the pandemic on global supply chains continues to dictate what automakers can and cannot do with their current lineup of vehicles. As a result, JD Power’s annual Initial Quality Study (IQS) in the United States is reading much more negatively this year than before. Each manufacturer has been forced to revise its plans in 2020, but some brands have managed the current reality much better than their competitors.

Buick was one of the few companies to improve the quality of its vehicles since last year, earning the brand a vaunted spot at the top of the rankings.

The automotive industry has been deeply affected by the pandemic

The Buick logo | Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

You can read JD Power’s findings for yourself, but the summary version is that the numerous restrictions imposed on the car production process over the past two years have drastically reduced the quality of most vehicles.

According to IQS, the industry faced an 11% increase in problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), 18 PP100 worse than last year. There have never been so many structural problems at any other time in the study’s 36-year history.

Supply chain issues, chip shortages and record vehicle prices have all combined to create this disappointing status quo. The lack of surprise in this verdict does not make it any less disappointing to hear.

“Given the many challenges automakers and their dealerships have faced over the past year, it’s somewhat surprising that initial quality hasn’t dropped even more dramatically,” said David Amodeo. , director of global automotive at JD Power. “In general, initial quality has shown steady improvement throughout the history of this study, so this year’s decline is disappointing, but understandable. Automakers continue to release increasingly complex vehicles. technologically at a time when there have been many shortages of critical components to support them.

Once the coronavirus (COVID-19) entered consciousness and wrecked global workflow, chip vendors had to be more selective about which companies would get priority while production processes were shut down or slowed down. Since the automotive industry only accounts for about 5% of chip usage and requires older legacy parts that offer low profit margins at best, there was no incentive for manufacturers to place cars on the front line.

Many modern features are either hampered or removed entirely from new cars. Infotainment and driver assistance issues have increased in 2022, and battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have higher PP100 metrics than internal combustion engine vehicles.

How did Buick get the highest JD Power rating?

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The IQS presents good news for a small group of brands. After collecting responses from 84,165 owners and lessees of model year 2022 vehicles in the first half of the year, Buick was named the top-ranked brand in overall Initial Quality with a score of 139 PP100. . (The industry average was 180 PP100.)

Buick’s place at the top is notable for several reasons. The brand finished 12th in 2021, improving its PP100 by 17 in that span. The company is also one of nine brands that have improved the quality of their vehicles since the last IQS.

“At Buick, the quality of our materials, world-class manufacturing and customer-centric design are at the forefront of everything we do,” Duncan Aldred, global vice president, Buick and GMC, told Carindigo. . “As a result, we are very pleased, but not surprised, that Buick finished first in JD Power’s 2022 Initial Quality Study in the United States.”

One of the main reasons for the placement is the Buick Encore GX, which ranked first in the study’s small SUV segment.

These brands came in just short of the top spot on JD Power

Dodge came in second with 143 PP100s and Chevrolet third with 147 PP100s.

Dodge suffered a 4-point drop from last year’s PP100 score of 139, but the company still found a level of consistency that many other brands lacked. Despite this, none of its vehicles ranked first in the awards in the individual car model segment.

In contrast, Chevrolet has won more of these awards than any other brand. (BMW came in second with four.) The Chevrolet Corvette was the top-ranked model with 101 PP100. At the same time, the Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and Chevrolet Tahoe were also considered the best of the best.

Prospective car buyers should not ignore JD Power’s claims, but it should be noted that initial quality is only one aspect of a vehicle’s lifespan. Long-term reliability research is also advised.

RELATED: Don’t Buy a Vehicle Now: Lowest Quality Ratings in 4 Decades

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