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Korean Vehicles Improve Dramatically in Quality

April 29, 2004

DETROIT – Korean vehicles now outpace both European and Domestic vehicles in initial quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Initial Quality Study released on Wednesday.Led by Hyundai Motor America, Korean vehicles have reduced quality problems by 57 percent in the past six years, dropping from 272 problems per 100 vehicles in 1998 to 117 problems per 100 vehicles in 2004, according to the study.Korean vehicles had five fewer problems per 100 vehicles than European brands, and six fewer than the Domestics. The Koreans still trail Japanese automakers by six problems per 100 vehicles. Toyota Motor Sales USA, including the Lexus luxury brand, repeated as the company with the highest overall initial quality, with 101 problems per 100 vehicles. Toyota is followed by American Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai in a tie.The study shows an increase in initial quality improvements throughout the automotive industry. Initial quality problems dropped 11 percent overall from 2003.Detroit automakers continued improving. General Motors fared best, with 120 problems per 100 vehicles, an improvement from 134 problems last year. DaimlerChrysler had 123 problems, 16 fewer than last year. Ford Motor Co. had 127 problems, an improvement from last year's 136.2004 Initial Quality rankingsRank, Brand, Problems/100 vehicles1. Lexus 872. Cadillac 933. Jaguar 984. Honda 995. Buick (tied) 1005. Mercury (tied) 1007. Hyundai 1028. Infiniti (tied) 1048. Toyota (tied) 10410. Mercedes 10611. Audi (tied) 10911. BMW (tied) 10913. Oldsmobile 11014. Volvo 11315. Acura 11716. Chevrolet 119 Industry average 11917. Chrysler 12018. Dodge (tied) 12118. Lincoln (tied) 12120. Pontiac 12221. Subaru 12322. GMC 12723. Ford (tied) 13023. Mitsubishi(tied) 13025. Saab 13326. Jeep 13627. Mini 14228. Land Rover 14829. Saturn (tied) 14929. Suzuki (tied) 14931. Kia 15332. Nissan 15433. Mazda 15734. Scion 15835. Porsche 15936. Volkswagen 16437. Hummer 173 Source: J.D. Power and Associates
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