The wins just seem to keep coming one after another these days for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Already posting significant sales increases each month thanks to vehicle redesigns and new models – including the 2018 Wrangler JL – the automaker recently received positive news on another front.
Quality. Well, initial quality anyway.
FCA Wednesday announced it improved its initial vehicle quality at a faster rate than the automotive industry average, while two brands – Jeep and Dodge – continued impressive gains year over year, according to the latest J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study. The performance marked the third consecutive year FCA has improved its quality score.
“We are pleased to see that the Company’s initial quality improvement has outpaced the industry average for three straight years,” said FCA’s Head of Quality, Scott Garberding. “We have continued to improve and we have more work to do. We are highly focused on satisfying our customers by continuing to bring new technologies and products to market, with improved quality and reliability.”
Overall, Jeep led all FCA brands in quality improvement in this year’s J.D Power IQS, with a significant 10 percent drop in problems against last year. Jeep finished the 2018 study 17th out of 31 brands with 97 problems per 100 vehicles, after ending up 25th last year.
Dodge Ram also continued to fare well for FCA, and placed among the top-10 brands for the second consecutive year. In the past three years, Ram has gone from a near-bottom ranking of 114 problems per 100 vehicles, to 86 per 100 last year, to 84 per 100 in 2018.
The study’s industry average was 93 problems per 100 vehicles.
Additionally, two other FCA vehicles placed in the top three of their respective segments for initial quality with the Dodge Grand Caravan ranked highest among Minivans and the Chrysler 300 third among Large Cars.
FCA’s performance was indicative of the entire domestic industry, with Ford and General Motors Co. all outpacing the industry average rate of improvement.
“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.”
Genesis (68), Kia (72) and Hyundai (74) all finished at the top of J.D. Power’s IQS, marking the first time the Korean brands swept the top three slots. Volvo (122), Jaguar (148) and Land Rover (160) all were at the bottom end of the chart.
IQS is based on responses from more than 75,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study asks customers to identify issues with their vehicles’ design, as well as defects.
The IQS study, now in its 32nd year, is based on a 233-question survey conducted between February and May 2018.