The J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study (IQS), which was released earlier today showed some surprising results for the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brands. The iconic study was redesigned this year and measures components that fail and features ones that are difficult to use, hard to understand, or don’t work the way owners want. Now, in its 34th year, the IQS examines problems experienced by owners of new 2020 model-year vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. Initial quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
Seven domestic brands that included Dodge, Chevrolet, Ram, Buick, GMC, Jeep®, and Cadillac, performed better than the overall industry average of 166 PP100. Collectively, it is the best-ever performance from the Detroit automakers when compared with the import brands during the history of the study. The IQS took a look at 31 different manufacturers in the industry.
Leading the way was the Dodge brand with a tie with KIA for the highest in overall initial quality, each with a score of 136 PP100. Dodge is the first domestic brand in the study’s history to rank highest. It was the sixth consecutive year that KIA was the highest-ranked mass-market brand.
In another tie, Chevrolet and the Ram Truck brand tied for third place overall with a score of 141 PP100 each. That was a huge jump from the 21st position the Ram brand held last year and it did so on the strength of fresh products like the Ram 1500 and the updated Ram Heavy Duty model lineup.
The Jeep brand also improved its performance, over last year by six positions to 11th place. It was the best-ever ranking in the annual study.
This marks the first time in the study’s history that FCA outperformed the industry average. FCA’s total of 153 was 13 less than the industry average and 10 less than its nearest competitor. FCA’s overall performance surged five spots to a fourth-place finish among the 15 companies assessed by J.D. Power.
But the brands weren’t the only thing recognized the IQS. The IQS also involves plant quality awards as well. Out of 75 plants in the Americas, FCA’s Toluca Assembly Plant in Toluca, Mexico which builds the Dodge Journey and Jeep Compass, won the Gold Award for manufacturing quality, while the Belvidere Assembly Plant, in Belvidere, Illinois, claimed the Bronze Award.
“These results reflect the relentless, whatever-it-takes attitude of our team,” said Mark Champine, Head of Quality, FCA – North America. “Our complete focus is the customer and these outcomes reinforce that we are on-target. The team is going to be inspired and motivated and will continue to push forward.”