By Sunny Myung
Quality Brand Innovation TFT
J.D. Power and Associates released the results of the 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) on March 18. Many of you probably know about the annual study. But to give a brief introduction, the VDS is a customer survey designed to measure the long-term dependability of a vehicle. Scores are presented as “problems per 100 vehicles” (or PP100). A lower PP100 score reflects higher quality. J.D. Power and Associates is also well known for its IQS (Initial Quality Survey). The marketing information services company provides a wide range of automobile related data including info on vehicle marketability, service satisfaction and sales satisfaction.
Let’s take a look at the VDS results for 2010. Last year, Kia Motors made significant advances in the IQS but still remained near the bottom ranks in VDS. This year, however, Kia joined the mid-tier group in the VDS as its score improved by 51 points compared to last year.
1. Kia showed the biggest improvement among non-premium brands (see graph below). Even when premium vehicles are included, Kia made the second highest jump. We also climbed seven rank positions in this year’s survey and have been making notable advances since 2009 (last year our score improved by 60 points). At this rate, Kia may soon be joining the top ranks of the VDS!
2. Kia has made the greatest strides over the past five years (see graph below), on the whole. You’ll notice that our average score in the VDS has risen every year. However, Kia stands out in terms of the pace of increase during the last five-year period.
The marked improvement in Kia’s VDS score is proof of the rising quality of Kia vehicles. It should help to enhance consumers’ perceptions of the Kia brand and give more people a boost to visit our showrooms and check things out for themselves. I look forward to seeing the day when the Kia name assumes the top spot in the VDS!