Give the auto industry a polite round of applause. (Make that a golf clap.) Automakers registered a 12 percent improvement in long-term vehicle quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). While nearly all automakers noted some gains, some hooked a right at the bell curve and kept on going. For them, we offer ironic, slow-motion applause.
According to JD Power, the industry average improved by 32 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) compared to 2004. Categories showing the greatest degree of improvement in 2005 include ride, handling and braking; engine; and interior. In terms of individual brands, there was good news for Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and Chrysler. Bad news for Mercedes, Saab, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Saturn, Daewoo, and Isuzu.
The Auto Prophet offers a solid summary.