Korean Dominance: JD Power Rankings Favor Kia, Genesis

By: Allison Perrine July 5, 2017
Kia, whose 2018 Rio model is pictured here, won J.D. Power's award for highest initial quality in June.
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Korean automakers Kia and Genesis won the top spots in J.D. Power’s 2017 Yearly Initial Quality Study, showing strength in South Korean automakers.

J.D. Power, the American-based marketing information services company, conducts a yearly Initial Quality Study that ranks brands based on the numbers of flaws consumers find in their cars within the first 90 days of ownership. It is compiled from nearly 80,000 customer responses; the 2017 review was released last week.

Kia claimed the #1 ranking for the second consecutive year, while Genesis was also named the top luxury car brand. In third place was German automaker Porsche.

The United States’ “Big Three” automakers—Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler—did not appear in the top spots, but made improvements from 2016, according to J.D. Power. This was also the second consecutive year that the Big Three had fewer problems in their vehicle brands than were reported in previous years. Overall vehicle quality increased about 8% over the last year, according to the study.

“Our back-to-back chart-topping. . .performances reconfirm Kia’s status as today’s world-class automaker and reflect the exacting standards and craftsmanship our team members instill into every car, crossover and SUV Kia builds,” said Michael Sprague, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors America.

There were 23 winning categories in the study altogether. “The Initial Quality Study continues to demonstrate the critical importance of automakers responding to consumer feedback regarding vehicle quality,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “Any automaker that stands still will quickly start to fall behind.”

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