Merc quality up in the US, down in the UK
Quality drive at Mercedes works
By James Mackintosh in London
Published: May 19 2005 03:00 | Last updated: May 19 2005 03:00
The expensive drive to improve quality at Mercedes-Benz paid off yesterday when Germany's leading luxury car marque moved up from 10th to fifth place in the widely-watched JD Power quality survey of 36 brands in the US.
Mercedes has been fighting to maintain its premium reputation after electronic problems led to a record recall of 1.3m cars for repairs in March. It has been spending hundreds of millions of euros to improve quality, in addition to €454m ($575m) set aside for repairs so far this year, mostly for the recall.
Mercedes predicted further improvement in future surveys as recently launched models eliminated defects.
"It is reflective of the relentless efforts we've put in to resolve quality issues and meet our customers' expectations," it said.
The good news for Mercedes was matched by General Motors, which had the three best-rated factories for quality in the US. "The results contain some genuinely good news for GM," said Chance Parker, executive director of product and research analysis at JD Power. "The improvements of the quality of several models and at their north American plants are both very positive signs."
Lexus, Toyota's luxury brand, maintained its position at the top of the quality league, closely followed by Ford's Jaguar marque.
The survey of 62,000 drivers three months after buying a new vehicle, is used as a guide to quality, although it also measures unhappiness with vehicle features.
Overall the survey showed car quality had stalled, while several manufacturers had more problems than last year. Hyundai, which shot up to a surprise sixth place last year, fell back to 10th. Honda saw a rise of 13 per cent in the number of problems and dropped from fourth to 12th place.
The biggest fall was at Volvo, Ford's Swedish operation, which plummeted from 14th to 31st, below South Korea's Kia. It put the blame on problems with the new S40 and V50 cars.
Ford's Land Rover brand also lost position after failing to improve, in spite of an agreement by unions at the factory in the UK to change working practices. Ford has threatened to shut the plant if it does not improve quality, and has already given some Land Rover production to the Jaguar factory on Merseyside - which JD Power ranked as the best for quality in Europe.
Porsche and Volkswagen, the German manufacturers, both improved but remain near the bottom of the ranking. Nissan moved up the table to 18th place after the botched opening of a new factory last year pushed it down to 32nd
Further details : JD power IQS results for 2005.
source : JD Power IQS Ratings
Nice to hear that efforts are being made. But my real problem is with the current customers who are stuck with problematic machines. That is not to say that the new Mercs are not problematic but Boy, I would love to see an Indian JD Power report on Mercedes Benz!
For the record, heres the 2005 report from the UK JD Powers
:OT Whoa! Skoda is way up there ahead of Honda and Toyota! Impressive!
Mercedes cars are not included in JD power survey in India.
Note UK has fewer new models from Mercedes than US as it takes about 6 months to convert them to RHD.i think it is V.good from merc to be at p5 when Porsche and Volswagen languish at the bottom of the heap.another thing mercedes has already said that it will think wether it should try to be no 1 or leave it as it is because in JD survey even the no of buttons on the steering wheel make the difference in score.
:OT Toyota faced huge embarrassment after forced massive recall of its vehicles in US.
BTW isnt the dealership experience and after-sales VERY IMPORTANT also? Why is Fiat India having problems again?
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